ADEN, Yemen, Yemen's parliament convened on Saturday, in the city of Seiyun, the second largest city in the south-eastern province of Hadramout, for the first time, since the outbreak of the devastating civil war in March, 2015.
The parliament held its first meeting at the presidential palace in Seiyun city, with the presence of Yemeni President, Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Prime Minister, Maeen Abdulmalik and delegates of Arab and foreign countries.
I extend my sincere congratulations to the Yemeni people, on the first constitutional meeting of their elected legislative authority, the Yemeni president said, at the opening of the extraordinary parliamentary session.
He said, this special session is being held at a very important moment in the country's history, as we stand at the crossroads between the options of peace and war, accusing the Houthis of intransigence, manoeuvring and obstructing peace efforts exerted by the United Nations.
Hadi said, organising the first meeting of Yemen's House of Representatives clearly indicates that the Houthi project is gradual and day by day, stressing that, Yemenis are now restoring one of the most important institutions of their state, after a long journey of struggle.
During the session, the Yemeni lawmakers elected Assistant Secretary-General of the ruling General People's Congress Party (GPC), Sultan al-Barakani, as the new speaker of the pro-government parliament.
Al-Barakani said, the convening of the Yemeni parliament comes in line with the articles of Yemen's Constitution. He stressed full support for any local, regional or international effort, aimed at achieving peace in Yemen.
The new speaker of the pro-government parliament called on the Houthi group based in Sanaa, to resort to the peace process by abandoning violence and turning to a political component that exercises its rights in accordance with Yemen's Constitution.
More than 141 members of the 301-member parliament attended Saturday's session, in support of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, a parliamentary source told Xinhua.
The six-year term of the 301-member parliament has already expired, as the last Yemeni parliamentary elections occurred in 2009, during the era of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Heavy Yemeni security forces, backed by elite Saudi troops were deployed in Seiyun city, amid tightened measures to secure the city with the start of the parliamentary session.
The Houthi rebels based in the capital Sanaa, described the pro-Hadi parliament meeting as a felony, vowing to take serious action against the participants.
Parliamentarians loyal to the Houthi group have started to hold meetings since Aug, 2016, at the main headquarters of the Yemeni House of Representatives in Sanaa.
The Iranian-allied Houthis launched a large military campaign and seized Sanaa in late 2014, forcing Hadi and his government to flee into exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The conflict between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government in Yemen has recently entered its fifth year, aggravating the suffering of Yemenis and deepening the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Source: NAM News Network