Ousted Yemeni PM rejects 'unconstitutional' sacking by Yemeni president

Ousted Yemeni PM rejects 'unconstitutional' sacking by Yemeni president
Khaled Bahah lashes out at his surprise dismissal, accusing Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi of being 'unconstitutional' in appointing a new prime minister.
2 min read
05 April, 2016
Bahah, who was sacked on Sunday, called for support from political allies [Getty]

Yemen's former prime minster has called his dismissal a "coup", in violation of the country's constitution.

Khaled Bahah, who was sacked on Sunday by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi over "shortcomings" in the government's performance, said his dismissal was "unconstitutional".

"There must be a general consensus on the appointment of a new prime minister in line with the Gulf Initiative," read a statement posted on Bahah's Facebook page on Tuesday.

"Accepting these arbitrary decisions is an abandonment of all governing authorities put in place for the transitional period and is a violation of the constitution of Yemen," the statement added.

"The political forces that support the constitution do not accept the coup led by President Hadi and the new government that was formed in an unlawful way."

In support of Bahah, the Nasserist Unionist organisation - one of Yemen's three major political parties - has decried his dismissal and the new appointments made by the Yemeni president.

"We deny support to the president's new appointments," the party said in a statement, "These appointments are unlawful."

President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced Bahah's dismissal, citing "failures that have accompanied the performance of the government during the past period in the field of economy, services and security".

As his replacement, the Saudi-backed president appointed Ahmed bin Dagher as the new prime minister.

Bin Daghter was former secretary-general of the General People's Congress party, an organisation to which president Hadi himself once belonged.

Hadi also appointed veteran General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar vice-president.

The reshuffle of official posts comes just a week ahead of planned UN-brokered ceasefire talks between Yemen's warring parties.

Violence and instability have rocked Yemen since September 2014 when Houthi rebels seized Sanaa, forcing the government to relocate in the southern coastal city, Aden.

More than 6,300 people have died - half of them civilians -since the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to overpower the Houthis and reinstate President Hadi's government.

In a separate development, Shaher Abdulhaqq, known as Yemen's "Sugar King", and confidante of ousted President Saleh - who is now supporting the Houthis - has been implicated in the Panama Papers controversy. The New Arab will be unveiling full details of his alleged involvement in an exclusive investigation to be published on Wednesday.