Houthis seize control of Yemen's executive power

Houthis seize control of Yemen's executive power
Movement effectively takes power in Yemen, declaring a presidential council under their authority in constitutional declaration delivered on Friday.
2 min read
06 February, 2015
The Houthi militia fought their way into Sanaa in September
The Houthi movement has announced it is dissolving Yemen's parliament and establishing a transitional national and presidential council to rule the country.

The Houthis entered Sanaa in September and have effectively been in full control of state institutions after the resignation of president Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and prime minister Khalid Bahah's government on January 22.

The Houthis delivered the "constitutional declaration" on Friday at the Republican Palace in front of a haphazardly-gathered audience of political and military figures.

It declared that a 551-member national transitional council would select a five-member presidential council.

The real power will however lie with the Houthi revolutionary committee, who will approve the members of the presidential council.

The revolutionary committee is led by Muhammed al-Houthi, who signed the constitutional declaration. Muhammad al-Houthi is the half-brother of Abdelmalek al-Houthi, the Houthi militia's leader.

The Houthis' announcement came after a Wednesday deadline set by the militia for political parties to resolve the crisis passed with no agreement.

The five-member presidential council will form a transitional government to govern for two years.

The Houthis' announcement did not give a timetable for elections and gave no indication on the fate of Hadi.

Although the Houthi militia are present in Sanaa and other areas of the north, their control over the country is not complete. There is growing opposition and anger at their takeover, especially in the former South Yemen, Taiz, a major central city, and Marib, a tribal province that provides the rest of Yemen with much of its electricity and oil.

The Houthis are a predominantly Zaydi Shia movement, who fought six wars against the Yemeni state between 2004 and 2010.

They joined the popular uprising against former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, and have gradually expanded from their base in Sadah, in the north of Yemen.