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."
A clarification message from the Pakistani embassy in Sana’a denies the rumors of Pakistan involvement on the air strikes against Yemen.
The source was surprised of including the name of Pakistan to the list of countries who participated in last night air strikes on Sana’a and other Yemeni cities.
Ambassador to Yemen Dr. Irfan Shami said, Several international media reports are erroneously reporting that Pakistani aircraft were involved in the air strikes launched by the GCC coalition against Yemen in the early morning of Thursday, 26 March 2015.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Madani called on all Yemeni parties to act wisely and put the interests of Yemen above all political, tribal and sectarian accounts.
In a statement aired by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Madani described the developments that are currently taking place in Yemen as "serious".
Madani urged all parties to avoid the military option and to response to the international and regional efforts that call for a comprehensive national dialogue to find a peaceful way out of the deepening crisis in Yemen
Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned [Yesterday] as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition.
Briefing the Security Council via video conference in a rare Sunday session, Mr. Benomar told the UN body that Yemen was on a “rapid downward spiral” as the conflict took on “worrying sectarian tones and deepening north-south divisions.”
“Emotions are running extremely high and, unless solutions can be found, the country will fall into further violent confrontations,” Mr. Benomar declared. “Events in Yemen are leading the country away from political settlement and to the edge of civil war.”
The situation in Yemen has been rapidly deteriorating since the country formed a new Government in November 2014 aimed at ending a period of political turbulence and bringing about a full transition towards democracy. Nonetheless, the country has continued to be plagued by violence and mass political demonstrations despite UN efforts to bring about a peaceful political resolution
Yemen's unity and stability are under huge threats, which casts serious consequences for the Arab region and the international peace and security, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday.
"Yemen is facing multiple challenges, which makes it imperative to help Yemen and drag it away from the edge of the abyss ", Shoukry said in his speech during the Arab League Council meeting at the ministerial level held in Cairo.
He reiterated Egypt's support for the institutions of the state in Yemen to carry out their national responsibilities in maintaining the unity of Yemeni territory.
The United Nations announced on Sunday the launch of the humanitarian response plan for Yemen for 2015 with an amount of US $747.5 million to deliver humanitarian aid to 8.2 million people.
Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Johannes Van Der Klaauw said that the latest developments in Yemen confirm the importance of continuing humanitarian aid and expanding its domain to reach millions of vulnerable Yemeni people.
"Despite the political unrest in Yemen, the humanitarian community will continue to work in Yemen at its full capacity and within strong partnerships with local communities and local partners," Klaauw added.
He said that the humanitarian agencies are adhered to continue to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance and to provide protection services for people within the vulnerable groups.
He called on all donors and concerned parties to support such efforts and provide humanitarian response plan for Yemen during the current year.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) renewed on Wednesday its call for all political parties in Yemen to implement the Council's relevant resolutions, especially the resolution 2201.
The council urged Yemeni political parties to reach a political agreement based on the Gulf initiative and the Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA), confirming its respect to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen.
Chaired by Francois Delattre, the ambassador and Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in New York, the UNSC confirmed its support for the efforts made by the UN Special adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar.
In closed consultations which lasted for more than two hours, Delattre said, "We have heard Benomar's briefing over the latest developments in Yemen, reviewing our concerns the lack of political solutions as well as growing of terrorist threats due to the ongoing security vacuum."