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."
The United Nations has warned of the accelerating collapse of basic services in Yemen due to the aggression, siege and fighting which was described as “devastating.”
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Johannes van der Klaauw said in a press conference in Cairo that the current estimations indicate that more than 14 million people in Yemen cannot get sufficient health care.
He noted that 20 governorates, out of 22 governorates, are affected and that about 2.3 million people were forced to leave their homes which created a deteriorating and desperate humanitarian situation over the past seven months, stressing the importance of promptly finding out a political solution before it is over.
The UN official said that 3 million children and women are in need for medication because of malnutrition while 1.8 million children are deprived of schooling since March.
Klaauw pointed out the increasing deterioration of the basic services as a direct result of the dispute and the lack of necessary supplies to pay salaries or to cover maintenance costs.
Oxfam welcomed on Friday the changing of the British policy on exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia which is used in its aggression against Yemen.
The Oxfam emphasized citizens are in the fire line not only because of weapons, but also of the siege imposed on Yemen which affected its main services and economy.
Josephine Hatton, director of the Middle East program at Oxfam, said in a statement the organization welcomed the alteration of the British attitude towards the denial of Saudi Arabia in targeting citizens in its airstrikes against Yemen, and insisting to conduct serious investigations in that regard.
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond called on Thursday to carry out a serious investigation on the Saudi air raids against Yemen.
In an interview with the BBC, Hammond said the denial of Saudi in targeting citizens by its airstrikes against Yemen since March is not enough, serious investigations must been conducted in that regard.
A suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in front of the Faculty of Agriculture in Ibb University, a security source said.
"The explosion did not cause any casualties," the source said, noting that the suicide bomber detonated himself before he was arrested by the security men, who noticed he was wearing an explosive belt.
The Médecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) organization said on Monday that thousands of Yemeni people still incapable to receive medical care because of the absence of transportation means and closing the health facilities.
In its statement, the MSF said many of health facilities have totally or partly been destroyed as a result of the airstrikes and war in the country.
MOSCOW– Russia affirmed on Saturday its support to the exerted efforts to hold a new talks' round on the Yemeni crisis and with the participation of the various sides.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said, in its statement issued Saturday, it is important to do all the possible efforts in order to end violence in Yemen and reach peace all over the country via implementing dialogue gathering all the Yemeni political powers.