Houthis Announce “Constitutional Declaration,” Dissolve Parliament (Al-Akhbar (Lebanon))

Houthi militants announced a new “constitutional declaration” on Friday evening, which dissolved Yemen’s parliament and established a “transitional council.”
According to the declaration, pro-Houthi “revolutionary committees” — headed up by senior group member Mohammed Ali al-Houthi — will form a transitional council to replace the parliament.
The 551 members of the transitional council will establish a five-member presidential council to manage the country’s affairs, according to a televised statement.
Some political leaders attended the announcement which took place at the presidential palace. Yemen’s former interior and defense ministers were also there, indicating that the announcement has the blessing of some other political factions.
Before a Houthi representative read out the declaration, formerly jailed journalist Abdelkarim al-Khiwani and a representative from south Yemen, Hussein Zaid, gave speeches in support of the new declaration.
On Friday before the announcement, UN envoy Jamal Benomar, who had tried to find a comprehensive solution for Yemen’s crisis, left the country.
The Houthis became power brokers when they seized Sanaa in September. In late January, the militant group seized the presidential palace and confined President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi to his residence.
The situation plunged the country deeper into crisis and prompted Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah to tender their resignations.
Houthis and the General People’s Congress Party, the latter of which is led by former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, have pushed for the formation of a presidential council to lead the country following Hadi’s resignation.
The turmoil has raised fears that Yemen, which lies next to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, could become a failed state.
(AFP, Reuters, Anadolu, Al-Akhbar)