Yemen’s Constitution-drafting Committee

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Yemen’s Constitution-drafting Committee
By: Faisal Darem, al-Shorafa
14 March 2014

Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Saturday (March 8th) formed the committee that will draft the country`s new constitution in the first practical steps towards the creation of the new federal state.

The 17-member committee comprises representatives from across the political spectrum and will hold its first meeting a week after its formation.

A day before the formation of the constitution-drafting committee, President Hadi reshuffled his cabinet in a move that included replacing the ministers of interior and oil.

President Hadi`s decrees came in implementation of the recommendations of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which authorised him to carry out a cabinet reshuffle and form the constitution-drafting committee, said NDC Deputy Secretary-General Yasser al-Ruaini.

After the new committee completes a draft of the constitution, it will be presented through the media to the public and civil society constituents for comment. The NDC Secretariat General will then compile the comments and present them to the constitution-drafting committee to determine whether they conform to NDC outputs.

Next, the committee will submit the draft to another committee to be formed in the future -- the national committee for monitoring the implementation of NDC outputs -- for review and to ensure it does not conflict with the NDC document.

Lastly, the constitution will be presented to President Hadi and put to referendum, which must be held by March 2015.

Members of the new committee will select a chairman, rapporteur and two deputies, one of them a woman, from among themselves, al-Ruaini said.

The NDC Secretariat General will direct the work of the new committee and provide it with counsel, and also will direct the work of the national committee for monitoring the implementation of NDC outputs, he said.

Justice, Law and Order and Equality

Constitution-drafting committee member Intlaq al-Mutwakel said her appointment was an honour.

The work of the committee will complement NDC outputs, helping Yemenis realise their dreams of a state of justice, law and order, and equality, she told al-Shorfa.

The committee`s work focuses on filling all the legal loopholes not covered during the NDC, during which all political forces agreed on a document that among other things set out articles of the constitution, she said.

She welcomed the appointment of four women to the constitution-drafting committee, which falls in line with NDC outputs and the 30% representation quota for women in legislative and leadership positions at all levels.

The formation of the constitution-drafting committee came to create a legal framework to draft a new constitution for Yemen as a federal state comprising six regions, hold public consultations on it, then put it to referendum, said another committee member, Maeen Abdul Malik.

The committee will take into account diverse viewpoints when drafting the constitution, he said.

Original article

Photo: Yemen`s President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi raises the book of recommendations from the country`s National Dialogue Conference, which will guide the drafting of a new constitution and establishment of a federal state. Source: Huwais/AFP.

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