Rifts Between Yemen's Government Authorities Deepen

Sheba Intelligence | 2023-09-18 12:10 PM UTC


Rifts between Yemen's Prime Minister and Parliament have been deepening over the past months, adding to the fragility of the UN-recognized government, which has fought the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group since 2015.

While these rifts have been kept in the dark, documents have lately leaked, proving the Yemeni government authorities' lack of a cohesive agenda.

Sheba Intelligence obtained a letter, which was sent from the Parliament to Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek, and the letter said the state-run Saba News Agency does not publish the Parliament's statements as they are. The Parliament said the agency adds, deletes, and ignores news related to the Parliament's activities.

The letter, dated 03/02/2023, ordered the prime minister to take procedures and hold those who manage Saba News Agency responsible.

Moreover, the Parliament Speaker ordered the formation of a Parliamentary Committee to investigate corruption allegations in the government's oil, telecommunications, electricity, and banking sectors.

In May and June, the Committee met with different government ministers, investigating the violations and corruption in the four sectors. The Committee revealed its report in August, highlighting numerous violations and corruption issues. The report's findings have further deepened the rifts between the government, headed by Abdulmalek, and the Parliament.

The Yemeni Parliament described corruption in the electricity sector as a black hole that devours public money, exhausting the state and citizens due to the lack of a minimum level of electricity.

In the parliamentary Committee's conclusions, on page 23 of the report, it was said the Committee had observed the delay in implementing the power purchase contract with Prism Enterprise, which will generate electricity at a lower cost through a floating ship. The report said the one-year delay in executing the contract cost the state USD575 million.

However, the state-run Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNAC) said in August issued a decree canceling the contract, which the Public Electricity Corporation in Aden signed with Prism Enterprise, saying that the contract does not serve the public interest. The SNAC ordered the revocation of the contract for multiple reasons, including not announcing bids and the inability of the Central Bank of Yemen to provide the required amount of money.

The continued conflicts between Yemen's government authorities have served its opponents, particularly the Houthi group, which has controlled most of Yemen's north since 2015 and has achieved rapprochement with Saudi Arabia since last year.

On Thursday, Houthi negotiators arrived in Riyadh, marking their first public visit to the kingdom since their takeover of Sanaa in 2014. Political observers say that Saudi Arabia has been fed up with the persistent disputes between the Yemeni government authorities. This reality has pushed the Saudi leadership to negotiate directly with the Houthi group and neutralize any Houthi threats.

The Houthi-Saudi direct talks cannot dictate an end to the war in Yemen. However, they can spare the kingdom any Houthi cross-border attacks and boost the Houthi authority in Yemen. The Houthi group and Saudi Arabia have made gains through their direct talks, whereas the Yemeni government authorities continue clashing with each other in a way that undermines their authority and threatens their existence.