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Yemen Parliament Approves State of Emergency Law

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TEHRAN, March 24 (ICANA) – The political crisis in Yemen deepened on Wednesday after the parliament rubber-stamped a state of emergency declared by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 1:47:40 PM
Yemen Parliament Approves State of Emergency Law

The president's declaration came amid growing opposition to his 32-year rule as senior military officers and diplomats abandoned the regime.

Saleh has also dismissed his entire cabinet.

The state of emergency will last for 30 days and during that time the constitution will be suspended. The measure authorizes media censorship in addition to banning all types of protests and gatherings. It also allows the security forces to detain suspects without a warrant or trial.

The move was denounced by the revolution movement and a number of lawmakers as a violation of the constitution. President Saleh's party holds the majority in parliament. This, as Only about 160 out of the 301 members of parliament attended Wednesday's voting session.

Protesters have vowed to step up their peaceful demonstrations. They plan to march to the presidential palace in defiance of the state of emergency.

President Saleh's grip on power has been greatly weakened by the wave of defections that followed Friday's deadly shootings at Change Square. That incident left more than 50 people dead and many others injured.

Saleh has added to his concessions the offer of stepping down by the end of the year.

He has already pledged to introduce a new constitution and set up a real parliamentary system; a new government with separate executive and legislative branches. But protesters want him to resign now.

The imposition of a state of emergency is viewed here as a desperate attempt by Saleh to cling on to power. The move has angered the protesters and rights groups who have warned that emergency powers will result in a massacre.

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