Politics of Yemen
takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic
, whereby the President of Yemen
is both head of state
and head of government
. Although it is notionally a multi-party system
, in reality it is completely dominated by one party, the General People's Congress
, and has been since unification. Executive power
is exercised by the government. Legislative power
is vested in both the government
and parliament. The Judiciary
is theoretically independent but in reality it is prone to interference from the executive branch.
Yemen is a republic with a bicameral
legislature. Under the constitution, an elected president, an elected 301-seat House of Representatives, and an appointed 111-member Shura Council share power. The president is head of state, and the prime minister is head of government. The constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by Parliament; the prime minister is appointed by the president. The presidential term of office is 7 years, and the parliamentary term of elected office is 6 years. Suffrage is universal over 18.
The President is elected by direct, popular vote for a seven-year term. The vice-president, prime minister and deputy prime ministers are appointed by the President. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the President on the advice of the prime minister. President Ali Abdullah Saleh
has been head of state in Unified Yemen since 1990, (since 1978 in North Yemen
) and was democratically elected in 1999. In the September 2006 presidential elections Saleh was challenged by a coalition of five leading opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties
(JMP), which fronted the candidate Faisal bin Shamlan
. President Saleh was reported to have decided in 2005 not to run for another term in office, but was later convinced by a public demonstration calling him to continue as leader of the country to run again.
|Ali Abdullah Saleh
|General People's Congress
|Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi
|Ali Mohammed Mujur
|General People's Congress
The Assembly of Representatives
) has 301 members, elected for a six year term in single-seat constituencies
. In May 1997, the president created a consultative council, sometimes referred to as the upper house of Parliament; its 59 members are all appointed by the president.
Political parties and elections
In April 2003 parliamentary elections, the General People's Congress
(GPC) maintained an absolute majority. International observers described the elections as "another significant step forward on Yemen’s path toward democracy; however, sustained and forceful efforts must be undertaken to remedy critical flaws in the country’s election and political processes. There were some problems with underage voting, confiscation of ballot boxes, voter intimidation, and election-related violence; moreover, the political opposition in Yemen has little access to the media, since most outlets are owned or otherwise controlled by the government.
For an overview of the 2006 election results, see Elections in Yemen
The 2006 elections were described in positive wording, and the elections were monitored by a number of international observers. The EU's Election Observation Mission to Yemen has published this final report on the elections: Yemeni media reported on the 22.01.2007 that the opposistion coalition JMP has set up a Shadow government "to play an effective role in the political, economic and social life" The ruling party GPC called upon the opposition to "acquaint themselves with constitutional systems before staring to talk every now and then about...rosy dreams and illusions".
The constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sanaá
. The Quran
is the basis for all laws, and no law may contradict it. Indeed many court cases are debated by the religious basis of the laws i.e. by interpretations of the Quran. For this reason, many judges are religious scholars as well as legal authorities.
Yemen is divided in 17 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan, Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, 'Ataq, Dhamar, Hadhramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Ta'izz. There may be four new governorates - the capital city of Sanaa, Amran, Dala'a, Raimah.
International organization participation
ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA
, G-77, IAEA
, ICRM, IDA
, IDB, IFAD
, ILO, IMF
, IMO, Intelsat
, IOM, ITU, NAM
, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW
, WToO, WTrO (applicant)