Chapter III. Federal Authorities
Section I. Legislative Authority
First. House of Representatives
The House of Representatives shall consist of 260 members to be elected through a general, free, secret, direct and equal vote under the closed proportional list system.
After the first legislative cycle, the south (the regions of Aden and Hadhramout) shall be represented in the Federal House of Representatives based on the land and population formula at a share of 40%. This share may be reviewed, under the land and population formula, after two subsequent electoral cycles by a law to be passed with the approval of two thirds of the representatives of the south in the Federal Council.
The House of Representatives shall assume the following functions:
- Proposal and discussion of federal Bills and initial adoption of such Bills.
- Discussion and adoption of the federal public budget.
- Discussion and adoption of closing accounts of the State.
- Proposal of constitutional amendments.
- Approval of borrowing.
- Approval of international agreements and treaties.
- Oversight over the performance of the federal executive authority and independent institutions as set forth in the Constitution.
- Any other functions pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution or a federal law.
The Federal Council shall consist of 84 members; 12 from each region, 6 members representing the city of Sana’a and 6 members representing the city of Aden. The members are to be elected through general, free, secret, direct and equal vote under the proportional list system in each of the regions.
The Federal Council shall assume the following functions:
- Discussion and approval of Bills adopted by the House of Representatives.
- Confirmation of appointments of senior civilian and military leadership, including:Ministers, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Public Prosecutor, heads and members of independent institutions, the chief of staff, deputies and aids, head of the General Intelligence Service, commanders of military branches, ambassadors of Yemen to other nations and delegates to international and regional organizations.
- Suggests constitutional amendments.
- Approval of the size of the armed forces.
- Any other functions pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution or a federal law.
Decisions in the Federal Council shall be taken by majority, unless two thirds of the representatives of the South (the regions of Aden and Hadhramout) oppose the decisions concerning the following vital interests of the south:
- Modification of electoral constituencies in the elections law.
- The Natural Resources Revenue Division Act, including oil and gas.
- The shape of the federal State.
- Mechanism for delineating the boundaries of regions in the Local Authority Law.
- The special status of the city of Aden.
- Constitutional amendments relevant to the representation of the South.
The National Assembly shall be composed of the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Federal Council.
The National Assembly shall have the following functions:
- Approval of declarations of war, conciliation and declaring a state of emergency according to the law.
- Approval of the sending of armed forces abroad.
- Any other functions pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution or a federal law.
The speaker of the House of Representatives shall preside over National Assembly sessions with the assistance of the speaker of the Federal Council who will sit for him when absent. The National Assembly shall convene on invitation by the Speaker’s Office of either the House of Representatives or the Federal Council, or both, or by the President of the Republic. The National Assembly shall develop its own internal procedures to manage its affairs.
The House of Representatives and the Federal Council may set up special committees or assign any of their specialized standing committees to conduct research and uncover facts on a specific issue. In order for the Committee to perform its assignment, the Committee shall collect necessary evidence and conduct hearings to listen to the opinions of anyone it deems necessary. All concerned bodies shall comply with requests for provision of documents and paperwork.
The House of Representatives and the Federal Council shall set up specialized permanent committees in a manner that ensures proportional and balanced representation of all parliamentary blocs; provided that the opposition shall at least assume the chair of the committees on financial affairs and human rights. The standing committees may conduct hearings with civil society organizations and citizens and receive complaints and petitions on the performance of the public authorities and institutions.
A candidate for membership in the House of Representatives and the Federal Council must meet the following conditions:
- They must be a Yemeni national, fully eligible and enjoy full political rights.
- Shall not be less than 25 years old for the House of Representatives and 30 years for the Federal Council on the day the nominations are announced.
- Shall have at least a secondary school education or the equivalent.
- Must be honest and of good moral standing and conduct, and he or she must not have had any final court judgment issued against them for a corruption crime or any crime in breach of honor and trust, unless exonerated.
- Shall not be on active duty in the military or security forces.
- Shall be a registered voter in the intended constituency.
- Shall have a permanent domicile or be a resident of the region where the candidacy will be made for at least one year from the date of declaring candidacy.
The two houses shall convene within a maximum period of two weeks from the date of the announcement of the final results of the elections upon invitation by the President of the Republic. If no invitation is made, the two houses shall convene their sessions on the first official business day following the end of this period.
The first session of both houses shall be presided over by the eldest member. Following the swearing of the Constitutional Oath, the Speaker’s Office shall be elected to consist of a speaker and two deputies, provided that at least one of the deputies is a woman.
Each of the two houses shall convene in two ordinary sessions per year. They may hold extraordinary sessions on invitation by the President of the Republic or by a decision of the Presidium or by a written request made by a third of the members. The session may not be adjourned during the last quarter of the year prior to the approval of the Revenue Division Act and the adoption of the State’s Public Budget. The rules of procedures shall determine the schedule of ordinary sessions and their duration.
The meetings of each house shall be considered valid if an absolute majority of members are present. Unless a special majority is required, decisions are to be made by a majority of present members, provided that no less than a third of members shall be present during a vote on a piece of legislation.
The terms for the House of Representatives and the Federal Council shall be four calendar years commencing from the first session in which members have been sworn in. Elections for a new house shall be held sixty days prior to the end of the term of the current House. If new elections cannot be held on time due to a force majeure situation, as determined by the Constitutional Court based on a request by the President of the Republic, the term of the current House may be extended for a period not to exceed 90 days.
Both the House of Representatives and the Federal Council shall develop their own internal rules of procedure to organize the conduct of business, which shall be enacted by law.
Each House has the exclusive right to maintain order and security in its buildings through its own private security under the orders of its speaker. No military and security forces are permitted to enter the headquarters of the house or interfere in its security affairs unless requested by the Speaker.
Each house shall have a general secretariat to be responsible for administration and financial affairs of the respective House. The Secretary General shall be elected by the House from among a number of candidates. The rules of procedures of the Council shall determine the form, functions and other rules relevant thereto.
Each member of the House shall be devoted full time to their parliamentary duties and may not occupy any other elected or appointed office or public position at any level of government. Entitlements and privileges accrued in the previous employment of the member shall be retained in accordance with the provisions of the law.
It is not permitted for a member of the House to interfere in the business of executive and judicial authorities at any level of government.
A member of the House shall receive an appropriate financial remuneration during the term of service in the House to be determined by law.
- A member of the House of Representatives or of the Federal Council shall not lose membership, except in any of the following situations:
- The member no longer meets one of the qualifications for membership.
- The member changes the political affiliation under which he or she was elected.
- The member is in breach of the duties vested upon them by the Constitution and the rules of procedures.
- The member is absent from the sessions of the House or committees for no acceptable justification as specified by the rules of procedures.
- Request for revocation of membership shall be presented by the Speaker’s Office by 20 members and shall be referred to the Federal Constitutional Court for adjudication by approval of a third of the members. The Court’s decision shall be final and conclusive.
Membership in the House shall terminate in the following situations:
- Expiration of the term.
- Permanent disability that prevents the member from performing the work in the house as set forth in the rules of procedure.
- If a conclusive court decision has been issued to revoke membership.
Anyone having an interest may appeal against the validity of the membership of any member of the two houses within two weeks from the convening of the first session of the respective House. The House shall have the competence to adjudicate on appeals by a decision it makes within thirty days from the date of the appeal. Appeal of House decisions may be made to the Constitutional Court within thirty days from the date the appeal is made. The Court shall make a decision on an urgent basis.
The headquarters of the two houses shall be in the capital city of Sana’a. They may convene their sessions in any other location. The rules of procedures of each house shall set forth the cases for holding such sessions.
If a seat of one of the members of the two houses becomes vacant, the member shall be succeeded for the remaining term by the next candidate in the election’s winning list with due consideration to the stability of the representation criteria.
No member of the House shall be censured, under any circumstances, due to facts that the member has come into contacts with or for opinions expressed in the House or in the committees or for their votes in the House during sessions. This provision shall not be applicable to slander and profanity.
No member of the House of Representatives or the Federal Council shall be subjected to arrest, search, investigation, imprisonment or any criminal proceedings unless by permission from the respective House, except in cases of flagrante delicto. In such case, the House shall be immediately notified, and shall verify the soundness of the procedures followed. When the House is not in session, permission shall be obtained from the Presidium of the House in question and the House shall be notified of the actions taken at the next session. In all cases, the request for an action against the member shall be decided within no more than 30 days. Otherwise, the request shall be deemed accepted.
A member of the Houses of Representatives or the Federal Council may present his or her resignation in writing to the respective House.
Sessions of the two houses are to be held in public. Closed sessions may be held, in exceptional circumstances on the basis of a request by the Speaker or by at least 10% of members of the House, or by the President of the Republic. The request shall be discussed by the House in a closed session to determine if the issue at hand shall be discussed in a closed or public session.
Citizens have the right to attend the sessions of the two houses and have access to the minutes of meetings, decisions and documents. This right may not be restricted unless there are reasonsable grounds that do not conflict with the importance of the principle of transparency. The rules of procedures of the respective House shall regulate the exercise of such right.
Members of both houses have the right to propose Bills.
- Proposed Bills shall be referred to a designated committee in the House of Representatives to express an opinion on whether the House shall consider the Bill or not. If the House decides to consider the Bill, it shall be referred to a specialized committee for study.
- The House of Representatives shall discuss the Bill. If it adopts the Bill, it shall refer it to the Federal Council within one week of the date the Bill is adopted.
- If the Federal Council adopts the Bill referred to it by the House of Representatives unamended, the law shall be submitted to the President of the Republic signed by the speakers of both Houses for issuance.
- If the Federal Council is of the opinion that the Bill shall be amended, it shall return it to the House of Representatives with justifications for the amendments. If the House of Representatives adopt the amendments, it shall be submitted with signatures of the speakers of both Houses to the President of the Republic for issuance.
- If the House of Representative rejects the proposed amendments to the Bill, as proposed by the Federal Council, it shall be referred to a joint committee composed of an equal number of members from each of the two houses.
- The joint committee shall make its decision by majority of its members, provided that half of the representatives of each House agree. In the event that no solution is reached, the Bill shall be considered dead.
- The committee shall discuss points of diisagrement and propose a draft to present to the House of Representative. In the event that the House of Representatives rejects the joint committee’s proposed draft, the Bill shall be considered dead and may not be presented again to the House during the same session; but if the House of Representatives approves the proposed draft of the joint committee, it shall be presented to the Federal Council for adoption; otherwise, it shall lapse.
Voting on Bills shall be article by article, the rules of procedure shall explain the relevant procedures for each House.
Laws shall be issued upon the signature of the President of the Republic, who has the right to request a review of any Bill approved by the Legislative Authority. In such cases, the President shall return the Bill to the House of Representative within thirty days from the date of receipt with a memorandum setting out the reasons for such objection. If the law is not returned to the House of Representative within the prescribed period or returned and adopted again by a two-thirds majority in the House, the Law shall be considered issued by virtue of the Constitution, and shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Laws shall be published in the Official Gazette within two weeks from the date of issuance. They shall enter into force thirty days from the date of publication. This deadline may be extended or shortened by a special provision in the respective Law.
Any of the Houses may request a Minister or an Official of the executive authority or independent institutions to attend the sessions of the House for clarifications on any given matter.
Ministers and Heads of independent institutions or their Deputies may attend the sessions of the House and speak on matters relevant to their area of competence.
The House, on the basis of a request by at least ten members, may establish a special committee or assign any of its standing committees, to conduct a fact finding inquiry on a specific matter relevant to the activities of any ministry, institution, public corporation or unit of the public sector, mixed sector or an independent institution. To facilitate the conduct of the task, the committee may collect evidence or requests testimonies of anyone deemed necessary. All executive and private entities shall respond to the request and place all documents and information they possess at the disposal of the committee. The law shall regulate penalties for non-compliance with such obligation.
Second. The Executive Authority
The President is the head of the State, and the symbol of its unity. Executive powers shall be vested in the President on behalf of the people to exercise it with assistance of the Vice President and ministers. The President of the Republic shall maintain the interests of the people and shall preserve the independence of the country, its territorial unity and integrity. The President shall comply with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws, and shall exercise the mandate and competences as stipulated in the Constitution.
The President and Vice President shall be elected together in a single ticket, provided that they must not be from the same region.
The President of the Republic shall be elected for a period of five calendar years starting from the date of the swearing of the Constitutional Oath, in general, direct, secret and competitive elections, and may only be re-elected one time.
Every citizen has the right to run for the offices of President or the Vice President, and candidates shall be required to meet the following qualifications:
- Shall be Yemeni, Muslim, born to Yemeni parents, and must not be, nor may their spouse be, a holder of foreign citizenship.
- Enjoys full political rights.
- Must not be less than thirty five years old at the time of candidature for the Office.
- Must not have assumed the Office of the President for two presidential terms.
- Must not be associated with any military, security or intelligence institution, unless he or she has quit the position in any of these institutions at least ten years prior to running for the Office.
- Must be of good conduct, maintains religious rites, and should not have been sentenced, in a final judgment in crimes involving moral turpitude, fidelity or corruption, or for any other grave crime or violation of human rights or International Humanitarian Law.
The person selected by the President to be the Vice President shall meet the same qualification requirements.
The candidate for the Office of the President of the Republic must be endorsed by 5% of the members of the House of Representatives or the Federal Council, or by signatures of six thousand voters from a majority of regions, with a minimum of 500 voters from each region. Members of the legislature or citizens may not endorse more than one candidate.
The candidates shall submit applications for candidature to the National Elections and Referendum Authority. The Federal Elections Law shall specify the procedures for candidature and elections.
A person who obtains more than half of the valid votes of voters who participated in the voting shall be deemed the winner and the President of the Republic.
If no candidate obtains more than half of the total number of votes in the first round, a second round shall be conducted within twenty days between the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes. The candidate who obtains a majority of valid votes of the electorate shall be deemed the winner and the President of the Republic. In the event of the death of one of the candidates in the first round; or one of the two candidates who won the highest number of votes in the runoff, another round of nominations shall be announced and dates of elections shall be rescheduled within a period of no more than forty days.
The National Elections and Referendum Authority shall invite voters for the presidential elections on the appointed date.
The proceedings to elect a new president of the Republic shall begin ninety days before the expiration of the term of the incumbent President. If that proves impossible, due to circumstances of force majeure recognized by the Constitutional Court, the President of the Republic, whose term in office has expired, shall continue to administer the affairs of the State and address the circumstances of force majeure, provided that this term shall not exceed ninety days.
The President and Vice President shall swear the Constitutional Oath before the National Assembly prior to assuming Office.
The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
The President of the Republic shall assume the following powers and competences:
- Representation of the State at home and abroad.
- Outlines and guides the State’s public policy.
- Appointment, termination and dismissal of federal ministers.
- Establish and abolish diplomatic missions.
- Accrediting ambassadors of foreign countries.
- Appointment of senior federal civilian and military staff, ambassadors and State’s representatives to international and regional organizations, after the approval of the Federal Council.
- Presentation of the State’s General Budget and closing accounts to the House of Representatives.
- Declaration of a state of emergency, war and peace, after the approval of the National Assembly.
- Concluding international treaties and agreements and ratification of international treaties and agreements approved by the legislative authority.
- Propose draft Federal Laws.
- Issuing executive regulations for federal laws and regulations and resolutions organizing the federal ministries, institutions, agencies and authorities.
- Pardon penal rulings in cases other than retribution and Hudud Offenses in whole or in part, of any private rights, after taking advice from the relevant bodies according to the law.
- Awarding decorations and medals according to law.
- Issuance of laws approved by the federal legislative authority.
- Ratification of conclusive verdicts on capital punishment.
- Presentation of a comprehensive annual report on the state of the country to the National Assembly.
- Any other competences or powers stipulated by the Constitution or law.
The President of the Republic, for any reason whatsoever, may not remain outside the country for a period of more than fifteen days without briefing the Federal Council.
The President of the Republic may not occupy any partisan office or exercise partisan tasks and activities during tenure.
The Vice President shall assume any tasks assigned to him or her by the President of the Republic, and shall act on behalf of the President during the President’s absence.
The President may resign from Office. The resignation shall be communicated to the House of Representatives in writing. The Resignation shall become effective on the date of its submission.
The Office of the President becomes vacant in cases of death, permanent disability, resignation or impeachment.
If the Office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice President shall replace him for the rest of the term if the remaining part of the term is not more than half of the term. The Vice President may run for President for two terms thereafter. If the remaining part of the term is more than half, presidential elections shall take place within 90 days.
If the Office of the Vice President becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a Vice President with the approval of the Federal Council.
If the offices of both the President and Vice President become vacant, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall assume the Office of the President. If this proves impossible for any reason, the Speaker of the Federal Council shall assume the Office of the President. If that fails, the Foreign Minister shall assume the Office of the President. In all cases, presidential elections shall be organized within 90 days.
In the event presidential authority is transferred in accordance with the previous article, the acting president shall refrain from the following:
- The nomination, appointment or dismissal of ministers, ambassadors and senior government officials whose nomination or appointment or dismissal fall within the competences of the President of the Republic.
- Awarding of decorations and medals.
- Accusing the President of high treason or breach of the Constitution or perjury shall be based upon a request submitted by 20% of the members of the House of Representatives and requires the approval of a majority of the members of the Council to be referred to questioning in the Federal Council. The law shall define cases of high treason and procedures to be followed.
- The Federal Council shall consider the charges referred to it by the House of Representatives, and the President or Vice President has the right of defense. The Federal Council shall issue a decision concerning the charge within a period not to exceed sixty days by a majority of two-thirds.
- If the Federal Council issues a decision convicting the President, the President or the Vice President shall be deemed impeached from Office without precluding criminal proceedings in a court of law.
- A candidate for the position of a minister must meet the following qualifications:
- Must be a Yemeni national, fully eligible and enjoys full civil and political rights.
- Must be known for their competence and integrity.
- Should not have been sentenced, in a final court judgment, on a crime of corruption or crimes involving moral turpitude and fidelity unless exonerated.
- Must not be in active service in the armed forces, police or intelligence service.
- May not be a member of the House of Representatives or the Federal Council. It is impermissible to combine the position of minister with any other executive or representative position.
The Minister shall manage the affairs of the Ministry, propose relevant public policies and assume any other functions as assigned by the President of the Republic or as stipulated by law. The Minister is accountable to the President of the Republic in performing his functions.
The State shall be committed to take necessary legislative and executive actions to ensure fair representation of the South to achieve participation in federal executive authorities and institutions.
- The President of the Republic shall declare a state of emergency throughout the Republic or part thereof in cases of war, foreign aggression, natural disasters and armed disobedience after consultation with the authority of the respective region or regions.
- The National Assembly must meet within a period of no more than 72 hours to approve the declaration of the state of emergency by an absolute majority, and in case of rejection, the declaration shall be considered null and void and all impacts of such declaration must be abolished from the date of declaration.
- Measures taken under a state of emergency shall be limited in terms of extent, geographical scope, duration and shall be proportionate and only as necessary to deal with the causes of the state of emergency.
- The state of emergency shall end after the passage of thirty days from the date of declaration unless the general assembly agrees to an extension for the same reason and two similar periods by a decision to be passed by two third of the members of the General Assembly each time. A state of emergency shall not be in effect for more than 90 days.
- None of the rights and freedoms enshrined in this Constitution may be restricted unless to the minimum level possible needed to address the causes of the state of emergency.
- If the organization of free and fair elections proves impossible during a state of emergency, the National Elections and Referendums Authority may delay an invitation to elections but such delay shall not exceed 90 days from the date the state of emergency was lifted.
- Any person may challenge the decree to declare a state of emergency or extension thereof. It is also permissible to challenge any decision issued based on that declaration, including decisions by the National Elections and Referendums Authority to postpone the elections.
- A federal law shall regulate the declaration of a state of emergency and relevant provisions thereof and shall be enacted by a majority of members in the House of Representatives and the Federal Council.
Third. The Judiciary
The Judicial Authority is independent. It shall assume the administration of justice; guarantee the supremacy of the Constitution, the application of the law and the protection of rights and freedoms.
Interference in the affairs of the judiciary is a crime punishable by law and a lawsuit thereon is not subject to the statute of limitations.
Judicial rulings are issued in the name of the people and shall be enforced by all competent State organs.
A federal law regulates the establishment of courts, types, levels and competences. The establishment of extraordinary courts is prohibited.
Courts shall apply constitutional texts on fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens referencing the Constitution directly.
Immunity from judicial oversight for any administrative act or decision is prohibited.
Court hearings shall be public, unless the court decides to hold a closed hearing in the interest of public order and propriety. The announcement of verdicts shall be in a public hearing.
Judges are independent and are not subject to any authority other than the law in issuing their judgments.
- The law shall define terms and procedures for the appointment of judges, and for the rights, duties, guarantees determined for judges, transfers, promotion, retirement, monitoring of their performances, investigation and disciplinary actions.
- Judges are not subject to dismissal. They may not be removed, transferred or sent to retirement before the end of their term of service; except in situations and conditions specified by law.
- Judges may not be transferred to non-judicial posts without their consent and approval of the Supreme Judicial Council; unless this is a disciplinary action.
- Full time or part time deputation of judges is not permissible, except to bodies or for acts prescribed by law under a decision to be issued by the Supreme Judicial Council.
Judges are obligated in their professional duties to observe the principles of neutrality and independence and are prohibited from:
- Partisan or political affiliation.
- Directly or indirectly accepting cash or in-kind gifts or any other benefit for carrying out their duties. This provision applies to all judiciary staff and shall be considered a crime punishable by law.
- Practicing law before courts they previously served in for a period no less than three years from the date of resignation from office.
It is not permitted to try civilians before military courts.
Military courts shall have competence to decide on military crimes and offences committed by military personnel. The law shall prescribe the crimes and offences, in a manner that ensures a fair trial in all levels of litigation.
Military personnel accused of violating human rights and freedoms are subject to the jurisdiction of ordinary courts.
The Supreme Federal Judicial Council
The Judiciary Authority shall have a supreme council to manage its affairs and embodies its autonomy.
- The composition of the Judicial Council shall be as follows:
- One member from the Constitutional Court.
- One member from the Federal Supreme Court.
- One member from the High Administrative Court.
- One member to represent the Public Prosecution whose rank is equal to that of the Attorney General.
- One member of the High Court of each region.
- Two members from amongst lawyers admitted to plead cases before the Supreme Court.
- Two law professors from state universities having at least an associate professor level.
- The law shall regulate the mechanism for proposing candidates and electing members of the Supreme Judicial Council and the rule of procedures of the Council.
The Federal Council shall ensure the integrity of nomination procedures in accordance with the Constitution and the law and confirm the nominations. The President of the Republic shall issue a decree of appointment.
Membership in the Council is for a term of four years renewable for a second term only.
The Supreme Judicial Council shall assume the following competences:
- Develop plans and public policies for the reform and development of the performance of the judiciary.
- Express opinions on legislations relevant to the judiciary authority.
- Formulation of a draft budget for the judiciary authority and oversee its implementation.
- Appointment of the head and deputies of the Judiciary Inspection Authority, duly considering that the members of the authority shall be from different regions.
- Consideration of the results of periodic inspections on the work of judges and members of the Public Prosecution.
- Oversee training of judges and development of their competences, supervision over the methodology of theoretical education and practical training and accommodation of female judges and members of the Public Prosecution in the various types of courts at different levels.
- Any other competence pursuant to the law.
- The Judiciary Authority Law shall regulate the competences of the Supreme Judicial Council and the Judicial Councils in the regions, in the appointment of judges and members of the public prosecution, transfer of judges, assignment and secondment, retirement, suspension from office, disciplinary action, all other career affairs and consideration of their grievances.
- The law shall also regulate the competences of the Judicial Councils in the regions as follows:
- Management of the courts and Public Prosecution offices at the regional level.
- Development of plans and public policies to reform the judiciary and development of performance.
- Formulation of the draft budget of the judiciary and oversight over implementation.
- Any other function provided by the law.
The Council shall deliver an annual memorandum to the President of the Republic and the House of Representatives on the general state of the judiciary authority, and provide proposals for development of performance thereof.
The administrative judiciary is an independent judiciary body and shall exclusively assume the adjudication on administrative disputes and enforcement thereof. The law regulates the composition of the administrative judiciary, levels, competences and procedures to be followed before such judiciary.
Courts of First Instance shall be established in the districts, courts of appeals in the wilayas, supreme courts in the regions and a federal supreme court shall be established. Rulings of supreme courts in the regions are final, except for matters falling within the competence of the Federal Supreme Court in accordance with regulations of the law.
The Federal Council shall elect the Public Prosecutor (Attorney General) from three candidates selected by the Supreme Judicial Council from among judges or the members of the Public Prosecution, whose rank is that of a judge of appeals or higher or a grade of member of the Appeals Prosecution, for a five year non-renewable term. A Republican Decree shall be issued for their appointment.
The Public Prosecution is a organ of the judiciary authority, its task is to investigate and initiate criminal proceedings, and shall assume supervision over law enforcement organizations. The law shall define its other powers and competences
Lawyers shall enjoy legal protection to enable them to perform their duties, contribute to the administration of justice and to defend rights and freedoms without hindrance. The law shall regulate the legal profession.
Section II. Authorities of the Regions
First. Legislative Authority
The Regional Parliament is the legislative authority in the region and shall be composed of no more than 80 members to be elected by general, secret, free, direct and equal vote under a proportional list system at the regional level, in a manner that ensures fair representation of the wilayas.
A candidate for membership of the regional Parliament shall be required, in addition to conditions stated for the membership of the Federal Parliament, to be registered in the voters’ registry in the region, and must have a permanent residence or be a resident in the region for a period of at least three years.
The term of the regional Parliament shall be four calendar years commencing from the first session convened by the Parliament. Invitation to elect a new Parliament shall be made at least sixty days before the expiration of the term of the current Parliament.
The headquarters of the regional Parliament shall be in the regional capital; and may convene its sessions in any other place at its own discretion.
The sessions of the Parliament shall be deemed quorate if an absolute majority of members are present. Decisions on laws shall be adopted by a majority of those present, but shall be no less than one third of the Parliament’s total membership.
Provisions are set forth in the federal legislative authority’s chapter concerning the duties and privileges of each member; cases of loss of membership and vacancy of the seat shall apply.
The regional Parliament shall convene its first session within ten days from the date of announcement of elections results. It shall be chaired by the eldest member by age. Members of the Parliament shall perform the Constitutional Oath and elect a speaker and two deputies; at least one shall be a woman.
It is not permitted to combine membership of the regional Parliament with a membership in any federal, regional, wilaya, or district authority.
The regional Parliament shall exercise the following competences:
- Adoption of the draft regional Constitution or amendment thereof by a majority of at least two third of its members, provided it does not conflict with the Federal Constitution.
- Propose, discuss and approve draft regional laws in accordance with competences of the region defined in this Constitution.
- Propose, discuss and approve draft laws in areas mandated to the region pursuant to a federal law.
- Adoption of the General Budget of the region.
- Discuss and approve the Closing Accounts of the region for the previous year.
- Ratification of cooperation and investment agreements concluded by the region in areas of socio-economic development, provided they are in harmony with Federal foreign policy and shall not affect the powers of the federal authority or public debt of the federal State.
- Discuss and adopt socio-economic development plans of the region.
- Oversight of executive authority in the region.
- Confirmation of appointment of senior leadership in civilian institutions, independent bodies and the police in the region.
- Any other competences under the provisions of the Constitution and the law.
Second. Executive Authority
The executive authority in the region is made up of the Governor of the region and the Government.
The Governor of the region shall preside over the Government of the region and shall be elected by a majority of two thirds of the House of Representatives of the region. If the House of Representatives fails to elect the Governor within sixty days from the convening of the first session, the House of Representatives shall be considered dissolved and a call for new parliamentary elections shall be made.
The Governor of the region is the top executive official in the region and shall assume the implementation of the Constitution, the laws and public policy within the scope of the region.
The Governor-elect of the region shall present a list of nominees for the Government of the region to the House of Representatives to obtain confidence by a majority of the House.
The Governor of the region shall perform the Constitutional Oath within a week from the election date before the region’s House of Representatives. Members of the Government shall perform the Constitutional Oath before the House within a week from the date they are granted confidence.
The Governor of the region shall exercise the following functions:
- Appointment of senior regional government civilian and police staff.
- Enactment of laws, decrees and regulations.
- Concluding agreements and ratification of cooperation and investment agreements approved by the House of Representatives.
- Any other competence provided in the Constitution and the law.
The Government of the region shall exercise the following competences:
- Formulation and implementation of the region’s public policies.
- Propose draft laws and regulations.
- Presentation of the socio-economic development plan to the region’s House of Representatives.
- Presentation of the regional draft Public Budget for the next fiscal year to the region’s House of Representatives.
- Presentation of the annual Closing Accounts for the previous year to the region’s House of Representatives.
- Any other competence prescribed in the Constitution or the Law.
The Government of the region shall be collectively and individually accountable before the House of Representatives. Each member of the House of Representatives may request the questioning of a minister in the region on issues that fall under their powers. The questioning shall take place seven days after the submission of the request.
Confidence may be withdrawn from a member of the Government or the entire Government by a majority of the House of Representatives. In cases where confidence in the Government has been withdrawn, the Governor of the region shall form a new Government and seek the confidence of the House.
The House of Representative in the region may withdraw confidence from the Governor by a two-thirds majority. The decision to withdraw confidence must include the election of a new Governor for the region.
The regional Constitution shall determine the perpetual mechanism for the selection of the regional Governor after the first electoral cycle.
Section III. Powers of the Wilaya and District
First. Power of the Wilaya
The Wilaya enjoys a legal personality and financial and administrative independence, and shall have legislative and executive authorities within the scope of its competence.
The Wilaya Council shall consist of representatives of the districts councils in the wilaya at a minimum of one representative for each district.
The Wilaya’s Council shall elect a President and a Deputy from amongst its members in the first session it convenes.
The Wilaya’s Council is the legislative authority of the Wilaya in the sphere of its competences set forth in the Constitution. The Council shall exercise control, hold to account and oversee the performance of the Executive Council of the Wilaya. It shall have the power to raise taxes in accordance with the law and service charges for services provided by the Wilaya and fines relevant thereof and all other resources within the limits of its constitutional powers. It shall have the right to mandate the district councils on any of its competences and the law shall determine other competences of the Council.
The Wilaya’s Council shall elect a Wali from outside its membership and from among those with the qualifications prescribed by law.
The Wali is the prime executive official in the Wilaya and shall assume the implementation of the Constitution, the laws and State public policy within the scope of the Wilaya. The Wali shall direct and oversee the performance of the executive organs in the Wilaya and shall assume powers with the assistance of the executive office of the Wilaya.
The Wilaya shall have an Executive Council made up of the Wali as the president, and membership of the directors of executive organs. The Council shall assume the development of the draft socio-economic development plan, draft budget, closing accounts, coordination of performance of executive organs, oversight over activities of the Wilaya and necessary actions to deal with natural disasters. The law shall determine other competences of the Council.
The Wali and members of the Executive Council shall be responsible to and accountable to the Wilaya’s Council.
Second. the Districts
The Wilaya shall be divided into local administrative units called districts enjoying a legal personality and financial and administrative autonomy.
Districts shall have elected councils, chosen by universal suffrage in direct, free and secret vote under a proportional list system. The district shall assume the legislation of bylaws and shall exercise control over the performance of executive agencies within its jurisdiction.
Each district shall have a Director elected in a secret vote by district councils. The law regulates candidature and election procedures. The District Director shall be accountable to the District Council.
Each district shall have an Executive Council composed of the District’s Director as chairman, and membership of the executive organs in the district. The law shall define the competences of the Council.
A regional law shall define the exclusive powers of the districts within the competences mandated to the Wilaya and localities in this Constitution in a manner that ensures efficient and effective service delivery by the level closest to the people.
A federal law shall determine the standards by which the cities shall have a legal personality and financial and administrative independence. A regional law shall determine their exclusive powers within the scope of the powers assigned to wilayas and localities in this Constitution.
Section IV. The Cities of Sana’a and Aden
First. The City of Sana’a
The city of Sana’a is the capital of the Federal Republic of Yemen and is a Federal city not subject to the authority of any of the regions. It shall embody national unity and cultural diversity. It shall have a special status to guarantee its autonomy and neutrality in a manner that ensures that federal organs and institutions are functioning efficiently and effectively.
The Federal Government shall be committed to support the historical status and special character of the city of Sana’a and its development needs as a federal capital.
The city of Sana’a shall have legislative and executive powers performing the competences entrusted to the regions, wilayas and districts as prescribed in this Constitution.
A federal law shall define provisions of public safety and security of the city of Sana’a, in consultation with the City Council.
- Legislative powers of the city of Sana’a shall be vested in the City Council elected through universal suffrage, secret, free and direct vote, according to the proportional list system.
- The term of the council shall be four years and the number of its members shall not exceed 40 and shall be regulated by law.
- A candidate for membership of the Council shall, in addition to requirements for the membership of the Federal House of Representatives, be a registered voter in the city, have maintained a permanent domicile in the city or have been a resident for at least three years.
The executive authority in the city of Sana’a consists of a Mayor,and the Executive Council of the city.
The Mayor of the city shall be elected through a general, free and direct vote for a period of four years. The Mayor may be re-elected only for a second term. The law shall regulate the terms of candidature and termination of the term in office.
The Mayor shall appoint members of the Executive Council from amongst persons of competence and integrity after the approval of the city council.
A federal law shall define the geographical scope of the city of Sana’a to ensure accommodation of federal institutions and population growth.
The City of Aden
The City of Aden has a special economic and administrative status within the region of Aden. It shall enjoy autonomous legislative and executive authorities.
The city of Aden shall have the same powers and responsibilities entrusted to the regions and the wilayas in this Constitution, including the powers to enact legislations relevant to the special economic and financial system and the ratification of economic and trade agreements. A federal or regional law may grant the city additional powers.
- The legislative authority in the city of Aden shall be entrusted to the City Council elected by universal suffrage, secret and free vote according to the proportional list system.
- The term of the Council is four years. The Council shall be composed of no more than 40 members and regulated by the law.
- A person wishing to run for membership of the Council shall, in addition to conditions prescribed for members of the Federal Parliament, be a registered voter in the City’s voters register, have a permanent domicile in the city or have been a resident for at least three years.
The executive authority in the city of Aden shall consist of a Governor and the Executive Council of the city.
The Governor of the city shall be elected through general, direct and free vote for a four year term. The Governor may be re-elected for a second term only. The Law shall regulate terms and conditions for candidature and termination of tenure.
The Governor shall appoint members of the Executive Council from among qualified persons with integrity after approval of the city council.
The Federal Government shall be committed to support and promote the special economic status of the city of Aden by including it in the national economic policy priorities, support for special investment and tax and customs systems for the city and development of its infrastructure.
Specialized courts shall be established in the city of Aden to adjudicate on economic, financial and investment disputes.
A regional law shall establish the borders of the city of Aden to be enacted in agreement with the Legislative Council of the city.
Section V. Independent Institutions and Specialized Councils
- Independent institutions and specialized councils shall embody the will of the entire society in the affairs they administer, enjoy a legal personality, financial and administrative autonomy, independent budgets, exercise their competence and perform their functions in accordance with the principles of good governance, and shall only be subject to the Constitution and the Law.
- It is impermissible to combine membership of independent institutions with any other office.
- The duration of membership in an independent institution shall be one non-renewable term. A midterm renewal system shall be adopted and the stability of representation in accordance with standards shall be ensured.
- Membership shall be conditional on compliance with the standards of specialization, competence, integrity and experience.
- It is not permitted to remove members of independent institutions unless by approval of the Federal Council in accordance with the Law.
Independent bodies shall be composed of an appropriate number of members from the various regions, provided that they meet eligibility criteria regarding specialization, competence, integrity and experience. Members are selected by the Federal Council by a majority of at least two third of the members. Due consideration shall be given to the representation of women in the composition of these bodies and the law shall regulate election and appointment procedures thereof.
Independent bodies and specialized councils shall be established under a federal law, which shall define their mandate and modality of work, guarantees for independence and the required protection for members and their functional status to ensure their impartiality and independence.
Independent institutions and specialized councils shall present periodic reports to the President of the Republic, the House of Representatives, the Federal Council, the legislative assemblies in the regions and the regional governments, where appropriate.
Independent institutions and specialized councils shall present proposals and express an opinion on draft legislations and regulations relevant to their area of activity.
The general provisions of this chapter shall apply to independent bodies mentioned in other chapters of this Constitution.
The Federation and regions may establish independent bodies and specialized councils by law in accordance with their respective competences.
Elections and Referendum Authority
The Independent Elections and Referendum Authority is a national body specializing in the administration and organization of referenda and general elections in the Republic. It shall call for elections and referenda on appointed deadlines and shall oversee and monitor the elections and announce the results thereof. It shall have the competence of receiving notifications for the establishment of political parties and the results of the elections of bodies thereof. It shall have branches in the regions and the wilayas and a general secretariat to function under its supervision. The staff of the secretariat shall be selected on the basis of precise eligibility criteria regarding competence, integrity, independence and impartiality as well as proportional representation of the regions.
The National Media Council
The National Media Council is an independent body that aims to promote principles of democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, intellectual and cultural diversity and national and religious values. It shall be responsible for overseeing the performance of State-owned media institutions; ensures impartiality and independence and the appointment of leaderships officers thereof at the federal level. The regions may establish media councils to oversee regional-owned media institutions.
Civil Service Authority
The Independent Civil Service Authority is a federal institution responsible for the performance of the public administration bodies, and oversight of the application of standards of good governance. Similar bodies shall be established in the regions.
The Anti-corruption Authority is an independent national body that works to combat corruption and abuse of power and to promote the values of transparency, integrity and good governance. The law shall define its composition, authorities and powers, terms and conditions for membership, and the rights and obligations of its members. It may establish branches in the regions.
Human Rights Commission
The Human Rights Commission is an independent national institution with a focus on the protection of public rights and freedoms through the following:
- Monitoring the extent to which human rights, established in the Constitution, laws, treaties and conventions ratified by the State are respected in public and private institutions of the State.
- Monitoring all violations of human rights and freedoms, accepts complaints from individuals, groups and organizations, investigation thereof and referral to the competent authorities and the judiciary.
- The provision of legal and judicial assistance to anyone whose rights have been violated.
- Promotion and dissemination of a culture of human rights within society, and responsible organs and institutions of the State, in particular: the police organization, the prisons administration and public services departments in all institutions.
- Any other competences and powers stipulated in the law.
The Commission may establish branches in the regions.
The Audits and Control Authority
The Audits and Control Authority is an independent national institution specializing in the following:
- Audits of accounts, financial statements and financial management of all institutions, organizations and organs of the State at the various levels of government and presents reports on such audits.
- Realization of effective control over public funds and ensures good management in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
- Contribution to the development of performance of organs and institutions subject to its control, particularly in financial and administrative spheres.
- Any other function prescribed by law.
The Ifta Council
The Ifta Council is an independent national institution responsible for Sharia Fatwas (edicts) on matters presented to it and in a manner that realizes the intents of the Islamic Sharia. It shall have branches in the regions.
The Ifta Council shall be composed of Sharia scholars who represent different doctrines of jurisprudence, provided that the commission, in performing its functions, will draw on the assistance of senior specialists in the humanities and applied sciences.
A “Sharia Research Complex” shall be established consisting of experienced and competent persons, accountable to the commission, and initiates its activities and functions to achieve the objectives of the commission; including:
- In-depth research on branches of Islam and Islamic studies.
- Revival of Islamic thought and culture, and promotion of the values of tolerance and moderation.
National Council for Education and Scientific Research
The National Council for Education and Scientific Research is an independent national institution responsible for the formulation of the general policies for public education, university education, technical education and vocational training, and scientific research in all stages of education in line with global quality standards.
The Council shall assume the following functions:
- Develop specific and clear objectives for education and scientific research linked to the needs of society to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.
- Setting quality standards for the performance of various educational institutions, quality standards for the educational outputs in such institutions and monitoring and supervision of the implementation of those standards.
- Develop a national system for scientific and academic certification in various specializations, incorporating standard scientific materials and programs that must be passed to obtain such certificates.
- Setting national standards for the accreditation and equivalency of scientific and academic certificates issued outside the State.
- Setting standards and conditions for the appointment of the rectors of universities and heads of educational institutions and research centers to ensure that the positions are occupied by persons with the necessary qualifications and experience.
- Establish systems that enable the effective participation of the private sector and civil society in the implementation of educational policy according to the defined objectives.
- Continuous reviews of educational curricula at all stages of education, and assessment of how far they have achieved the desired objectives thereof, within the scope of any specific educational stage.
- Setting a national strategy for the advancement of scientific research, including defining priorities, methods of funding and support, practical steps to achieve this goal, and the role of the private sector in this respect.
The law shall define the system of work in the Council and its relationship with the executive organs of the State.
Office of the Ombudsman
The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent office responsible for receiving grievances and complaints from all individuals, groups or organizations regarding any decision or action or lack of action by any state authority. It shall consider such complaints and issue instructions to relevant authorities. Similar bodies shall be established in the regions. The law shall define its composition and competences.
Without prejudicing the independency of the judiciary, all State agencies shall be obliged to respond to any inquiries raised by the Office of the Ombudsman, and shall give full cooperation in any investigation to be undertaken by the Office.
The Office may provide legal and judicial assistance concerning complaints that it finds necessary to initiate judiciary proceedings thereon.
The Supreme Council for Youth
The Supreme Council for Youth is an independent specialized institution entrusted with the following tasks:
- Propose national policies for youth aiming at building a capable, effective and an active Yemeni generation involved in the building and development of society, in all aspects of economic, social, political, cultural and sports development.
- Consultation and coordination with the Executive Authority for the development, financing and implementation of interim strategies for youth.
- The Council shall follow up with the Executive Authority in the implementation of relevant strategies and programs and provides periodic reports about its activities.
- The Supreme Council for Youth shall endeavor to encourage youth participation in political life. Similar councils shall be established in the regions.
The National Commission for Women
The National Commission for Women shall be responsible for the following tasks: Participation in proposing public policies for the advancement of the status of women and their effective participation in the political, economic and social spheres, protection of the rights of women without discrimination and following up on implementation. The regions may establish similar commissions.
The Zakat Authority
The Zakat Authority is an independent regional institution working to collect Zakat (alms) from citizens. The law shall determine Zakat spending in accordance with Islamic Sharia.
The Endowments Authority
The Endowments Authority is an independent regional institution that shall take account of and maintains endowment funds and endowed estates and wills. It shall manage resources and revenues and disbursement thereof for prescribed channels so as to achieve the wills of endowers and contribute to economic and social development in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia, and in a manner that benefits local communities.
Section VI. The Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence
The armed forces, police and general intelligence shall exercise their functions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Law, and the principles of human rights and freedoms.
Military, police and general intelligence personel shall be prohibited from partisan activities. Political parties, political organization or political groups are prohibited from practicing political activities within the armed forces, security and general intelligence; or use them in favor of any party, group or individual. The law shall define penalties for such violations.
The Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence shall be built in accordance to a doctrine devoted to the values of national belonging, respect for human rights and clarity of their functions.
The Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence shall adhere to the principles of national partnership and professional standards in all regions and wilayas. The regions shall be represented in the command structures of the armed forces in an equitable manner and regulated by law.
The Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence shall adhere to the principles of good governance, including accountability, transparency and financial oversight. The commanders of the Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence shall be subject to financial disclosure rules according to the law.
The Law shall regulate the terms of service, promotion, retirement, penalties and sanctions in the Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence, exclusively on the basis of professional standards.
Empower and expand employment opportunities for women in the Armed Forces, Police and General Intelligence, which shall be regulated by law.
The appointment of any of the relatives, in-laws of the President of the Republic, the Vice President, Ministers of Defence and Interior and the Chief of the General Intelligence Service, to the fourth degree of kinship, in any position in the command structures of the Army, Police and Intelligence Service during their tenure is prohibited.
The State shall have the exclusive right of the possession of weaponry. The law shall regulate the production, procurement, import, export and transit of military materials and possession and carrying of weapons.
The Armed Forces
The Armed Forces are a national institution that belongs to the people. The State shall assume the establishment, training, and equipping of the armed forces with necessary personnel, materiel and weapons. The Armed Forces shall be entrusted with the protection of the Republic and maintaining security, unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and the Republican System.
The law shall define the organizational structure of the Armed Forces, including job descriptions, functions, the human resources and physical capital for all of its sub-components and the financial and administrative system.
Personnel of the Armed Forces are prohibited from participating in elections, either by voting, nomination or by organizing electoral campaigns.
The Armed Forces are prohibited from practicing any commercial, financial or economic activities.
No military cooperation or military arrangements with any other state, or states, regional or international organization or organizations may be established, unless approved by the House of Representatives and the Federal Council.
Military procurements shall be subject to the same rules applied for procurement by the State.
The Police are a statutory civil body, its mission and duty is to serve the people, maintain security and public order, ensures public serenity and tranquility for citizens, respect for human rights, maintenance of human dignity, implementation of the orders of the judiciary and all the duties mandated by laws and regulations.
The following shall be established under a law:
- A federal police organization to assume the following competences:
- Nationality, entry and residency of foreign nationals.
- Joint operations and shared information room.
- The security of points of entry by sea, air and land.
- Department of Public Relations and International Police.
- Combatting terrorism and organized crime.
- Any other federal competences prescribed by the law.
- The police organization in each region shall maintain security and public order.
General Intelligence Service
- The General Intelligence Service shall be established under a law. It shall undertake the protection of security and interests of the Republic and shall be accountable to the Federal Council. Its formation and competences shall be regulated by law.
- The President of the Republic shall appoint the Chief of the General Intelligence Service after the approval of the Federal Council.
The Supreme Council for National Defence and National Security
A Supreme Council for National Defence and National Security shall be established, chaired by the President of the Republic. It shall have the competence to review the security affairs, and the integrity and protection of the country. It shall also be responsible for approving plans to respond to natural disasters. The law shall determine its formation, functions and powers.