Almotamar.net Gulf News - Sanaa: The Yemeni Parliament has voted against the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, retracting a majority vote for it on March 24.
The 83 members (out of the 133 attending members) who voted against agreement said it was contradicting the constitution and Islamic Sharia, and the remaining 50 voted in favour saying it was in harmony with the constitution and Sharia.
On March 24, the statute was approved by a majority from all parties in a second session held to vote on the statute.
The Secretary General of the ruling People's General Congress, Abdul Qader Bajammal criticised yesterday the Parliamentary bloc of his party for voting against agreement, denying interference from President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
After the vote there was a rumour that the overwhelming majority of the ruling party had received instructions from President Saleh to cancel their previous vote for the agreement.
"Did you know that Yemen hosted an international conference in 2004 on the ICC and it was chaired by President Ali Abdullah Saleh?" Bajammal asked.
On April 6 the International coordinator of the Coalition of ICC, William R. Pace had sent a letter to President Saleh urging him to "approve the Parliament's important vote without delay".
The Yemeni coordinator of the CICC for Middle East and North Africa, Amal Basha declined to comment on the Parliament recantation.
"I have no comment on this retraction. I would only say, the young parliament will vote for the Rome Statute instead of the adult Parliament," Amal Basha said.
In Saturday's session chaired by Deputy Speaker, Yahya Al Ra'ee, some 81 MPs voted against and 50 voted in favour of it.
The supporters of ICC considered the step as a flagrant violation of the constitution and bylaws because the Parliament had already voted the Rome Statute and had addressed a letter to the President Saleh for the completion of the procedures. The letter was submitted to Saleh on March 26.
MP Mansour Al Zandani, one of those who oppose the ICC, said the vote against the ICC had represented a genuine willingness of the Parliament to adhere to the Sharia and constitution and by-laws.
But MP Shawqi Al Qadi said, "This vote does not mean anything because the Parliament has voted and now the ball is in President Saleh's court, and it is only him now who has the right to ratify or to return it to Parliament."
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The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen Jamal Benomar said on Saturday that accelerating the implementation of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement is regarded the best way towards the peaceful change to preserve Yemen security and stability.
Upon arrival in Sana’a, Benomar said that he will meet with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the newly assigned Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, in addition to political leaders of all political spectra.
The Constitution Drafting Committee headed on Wednesday to the United Arab Emirates in order to continue holding its meetings in the capital Abu Dhabi for one month.
“The Committee will start meetings as of Thursday in Abu Dhabi as per its action plan and within the framework of finalizing and revising the first draft of the constitution,” says head of the Committee Ibrahim al-Wazir as quoted by the NDC Media Center.
The Cabinet on Wednesday urged all the concerned political parties to accelerate the formation of a new government.
In its meeting, which was chaired by Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Electricity Abdullah al-Akwa, the cabinet pointed to the importance of the new government formation in stabilizing the political, economic and security situation and overcoming the current problems.
The cabinet's meeting touched on a number of topics, especially the issues related to the service and development aspects.
The cabinet stressed the need to keep the different educational institutions away from any conflicts and the importance of commitment of all parties to maintain the safety of employees and students in these education institutions.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi chaired on Monday a meeting of the panel of presidential advisors along with Prime Minister-designate Khalid Bahah.
They reviewed the latest developments in the local arena, besides procedures to form a new government and distribution of the ministerial portfolios in accordance with criteria agreed upon by all components.
Ibb University Council approved Sunday the halt of study in different colleges for a week due to security reasons in the governorate.
The council formed a committee to communicate with the local authority and concerned political forces to withdraw their militants from near the university for it is an educational institution to the governorate's sons.