Sana'a, November 20, 2011
The Yemeni Parliament resumed its activities Saturday as it opened its first session of its 5th period of its 8th annual meeting, chaired by its President, Yehia Ali al-Ra' ai, a staunched supporter of President Saleh and a fervent detractor of the Opposition.
The session opened up on a minute of silence in remembrance of late Abdal-Aziz Abdul Ghani, the former President of the Shurah Council who passed away after succumbing to its injuries following a bomb attack on President Saleh's compound in early June.
In a speech rendered by al-Ra'ai, reference was made to the negative repercussions the uprising has had upon the country's economy, finances, industries and security, putting the blame largely onto the Opposition as they are still being portrayed by the regime as the source of all evils in Yemen.
"We, as parliamentarians, have to stand with the people against the conspiracy and political jockeying, and to work to pull the country out of this crunching crisis." Al-Ra'ai added.
The Join Meeting Parties (JMP) has decried the move, arguing that the Parliament had no legal ground to congregate given that it was explicitly against the Constitution and that is was a "flagrant violation of the Interior Regulations of the Parliament".
Jurists now doubt the constitutionality of the Parliament's meetings as the Parliament was dissolved back in April 16th.
President Saleh immediately retaliated by invoking article 65 of the Constitution.
Article 65 of the Yemeni Constitution provides that "The Parliament's Duration which is six calendar years, starts from the date its first meeting, and that the President of the Republic invites the voters to elect a new board before the expiration of its term in at least sixty days, if this is not possible for compelling circumstances, the Parliament will continue to perform its constitutional authority until the circumstances are passed and the new council is elected."