SANA’A, Jan 22―On the same day one NDC representative was assassinated and the son of a well-known political figure survived an alleged assassination attempt in Sana’a, the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) on Tuesday approved its final comprehensive document, which was 10 months in the making.
According to the paperwork, called the Solutions and Guarantees Document, the NDC extended President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi’s term in office for one year. The conference also approved federalism as Yemen’s new state structure.
“Hadi will remain president until presidential elections are held in line with the new constitution,” said Yasser Al-Ruaini, the NDC’s deputy secretary general.President Hadi’s two-year interim presidency was due to expire this February. Following an internationally-brokered deal in which former President Ali Abdulla Saleh agreed to relinquish power, Hadi was ushered into office in early 2012 in a one-candidate election.
In his extended term, according to the NDC document, President Hadi will oversee the drafting of a new constitution, which will be put to referendum.
This process, Al-Ruaini said, should not exceed a one-year extended term, which begins on Jan. 25, the day marking the official end of the NDC. The document also requires Hadi to reshuffle the Cabinet and restructure the Shura Council—Parliament’s consultative body—in order to make it more inclusive of all political parties.
The Shura Council will be reorganized “to represent all political entities that participated in the NDC with [an even split for Northern and Southern representatives]. Thirty percent of the council’s seats will be allocated for women and 20 percent for youth.”
After the new constitution is approved via a referendum, the government will hold a presidential election in a period that does not exceed nine months, Al-Ruaini said.
Hours before the NDC meeting on Tuesday, Ahmed Sharaf Al-Deen, a Houthi representative at the conference, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen while he was en route to the NDC’s concluding session.
In another incident, Amer Abdulwahab Al-Ansi, the son of the secretary general of the Islah Party survived a believed assassination attempt when a roadside bomb exploded while he was on Algiers Street in Sana’a. Al-Ansi was taken to an area hospital after the explosion.
Islah.net, the official media outlet for the Islah Party, reported that the bomb targeted Al-Ansi’s father, Abdulwahab Al-Ansi.
In his speech at the concluding plenary session, which was broadcast live by a state-run television outlet, President Hadi urged all NDC members to stand with him against “evil powers that want to derail the National Dialogue Conference.”
Houthi representatives, who left the concluding session after receiving word of Al-Deen’s assassination, have suspended their participation in the conference to protest their colleague’s death.
In November 2013, Abdul Karim Jadban, another NDC Houthi representative, was shot dead by unidentified assailants while leaving a mosque in his neighborhood.
“Targeting us is targeting the NDC’s outcomes, and we still believe that the dialogue is the only way to build a civil modern state of Yemen,” said Ali Al-Emad, a NDC Houthi representative.Tweet