Yemen’s new cabinet wins parliament approval

Parliament gives vote of confidence to government of Khaled Bahah with comfortable majority after months of unrest.

Yemen’s parliament has approved the government of Prime Minister Khaled Bahah with a comfortable majority following months of violence.

The 301-seat chamber’s vote on Thursday came two days after loyalists of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh blocked a Tuesday attempt to stage a vote in protest against the authorities’ decision to shut their party’s offices in the southern city of Aden.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of security forces from the headquarters of General People’s Congress party that forms the majority of the parliament.

Al Jazeera’s Saeed Thabet, reporting from the capital Sanaa, said the government has also promised the GPC not to implement the UN Security Council resolution which imposes sanctions on Saleh and two allied rebel commanders.

Saleh was forced to step down after mass protests in 2011 after 30 years in power. He has been accused by the UN of working with the Shia Houthi rebels to undermine political stability in Yemen.

Large-majority approval 

The legislature did not release a breakdown of Thursday’s vote, but more than 200 lawmakers were present and the vote by show of hands suggested a large majority approved the 36-member government.

Yemen has been gripped by a power struggle between Hadi and Houthis, who seized control of Sanaa in September.

The Houthis had pressed Hadi to form a new government that would give them more say in the country’s political affairs.

Bahah told the parliament on Thursday that his government would “work with sincerity and seriousness to promote the integrity of all sectors in the government”.

“We will keep equal distance from all political elements and we will get through this current period.”

However, relations between Houthis and Bahah’s government, composed of technocrats and politicians drawn from a range of parties, remain uneasy.

Houthi fighters on Wednesday stormed government installations in Sanaa and occupied the headquarters of the state-owned Safer oil and gas company. They also blocked the entrance to Hudaida port on the Red Sea

As well as dealing with the Houthi rebels and the sectarian risks they pose in majority Sunni Muslim Yemen, the Bahah government also faces security threats from al-Qaeda fighters and southern separatists.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies