Yemen’s House of Representatives convened on Saturday morning for the first time since the war started, and elected Sultan al-Burkani, the head of Yemen’s General People’s Congress (GPC), as its speaker.
The process of electing parliamentary positions began with the participation of 141 deputies.
Held in the city of Sayoun, the parliament session was attended by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and several Yemeni government officials. Hadi had arrived to Yemen on Friday.
In a speech during the session, Hadi said that this parliament session “proves clearly that this destructive Houthi project is deteriorating day by day.”
In a message directed to the Houthi militias, Hadi said: “Do not wager the past and future of Yemen with the country’s enemies.”
Hadi added that their top priority now is to defeat the Houthi coup and build government institutions.
“I appeal to the Yemenis to hold on to hope despite the threats and violations of the Houthis,” he said.
“We did not want a war and did everything in our power to avoid it,” Hadi said, adding that the government is fulfilling its duty in defending the country.
He added that any government official who is not carrying out his or her duties “has committed treason toward this country and its people.”
Newly elected speaker al-Burkani also said that the government is determined to defeat the Houthi coup so that the Yemeni people can regain their country.
“Through its Houthi project, Iran seeks to establish its influence from Yemen to Lebanon,” al-Burkani said.
Al-Burkani called on the Houthis to support peace and halt the violence in accordance with international resolutions. He also called on the heads of government apparatuses to move to Aden to carry out their duties.
The session of the House of Representatives comes based on a decision issued by Hadi, under a law that allows him as president of Yemen to hold parliamentary sessions anywhere in the country if security conditions do not allow for them to be held in the capital.
Intensive security measures were taken to secure the city with the start of the first parliamentary session.
The 301-member parliament was last elected in 2009. It’s six-year term has already expired.