Politics of Yemen
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Politics and government of
Politics of Yemen takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, where the President of Yemen is the head of state, while the Prime Minister of Yemen (who is appointed by the President) is the head of government. Although it is notionally a multi-party system, in reality it is completely dominated by one party, the General People's Congress, and has been since unification. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Judiciary is theoretically independent but in reality it is prone to interference from the executive branch.
Yemen is a republic with a bicameral legislature. Under the constitution, an elected president, an elected 301-seat House of Representatives, and an appointed 111-member Shura Council share power. The president is head of state, and the prime minister is head of government. The constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by Parliament; the prime minister is appointed by the president. The presidential term of office is 7 years, and the parliamentary term of elected office is 6 years. Suffrage is universal over 18.
Executive branch 
The President is elected by direct, popular vote for a seven-year term. The vice-president, prime minister and deputy prime ministers are appointed by the President. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the President on the advice of the prime minister. President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been head of state in Unified Yemen since 1990 (since 1978 in North Yemen) and was democratically elected in 1999. In the September 2006 presidential elections Saleh was challenged by a coalition of five leading opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), which fronted the candidate Faisal bin Shamlan. President Saleh was reported to have decided in 2005 not to run for another term in office, but was later convinced by a public demonstration calling him to continue as leader of the country to run again.
|President||Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi||General People's Congress||23 November 2011|
|Prime Minister||Mohammed Basindawa||Independent||7 December 2011|
Legislative branch 
The Assembly of Representatives (Majlis al-Nuwaab) has 301 members, elected for a six year term in single-seat constituencies. In May 1997, the president created a Consultative Council, sometimes referred to as the upper house of Parliament; its 59 members are all appointed by the president. The president of the Consultative Council was Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani prior to his death in August 2011.
Political parties and elections 
|Candidates - Nominating parties||Votes||%|
|Ali Abdullah Saleh - General People's Congress||4,149,673||77.17|
|Faisal Bin Shamlan - Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) opposition coalition||1,173,075||21.82|
|Total valid votes (turnout 65.2%)||5,377,238||100.00|
|Total votes cast||6,025,818|
|Source: Yemen Times[page needed]|
|General People's Congress (al-Mu'tammar al-Sha'bi al-'Am)||3,429,888||58.0||238|
|Yemeni Congregation for Reform (al-Tajmu al-Yamani li al-Islah)||1,333,394||22.6||46|
|Yemen Socialist Party (Hizb al-Ishtirakiya al-Yamaniya)||277,223||3.8||8|
|Nasserite Unionist People's Organisation (al-Tantheem al-Wahdawi al-Sha'bi al-Nasseri)||109,480||1.9||3|
|Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Hizb al Baath al'Arabi al Ishtiraki)||40,377||0.7||2|
|National Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-Arabi Al-Ishtiraki Al-Qawmi)||23,745||0.4||0|
|Nasserite Popular Correctional Movement (al-Tashih al-Shabi al-Nasiri)||15,257||0.25||0|
|Yemeni Union of Popular Forces (Ittihad al-Qiwa al-Shabiyya)||11,967||0.2||0|
|Democratic Nasserite Party (al-Hizb al-Dimuqrati al-Nasiri)||9,829||0.16||0|
|Democratic National Front (al-Jabha al-Wataniya al-Dimuqratiyya)||7,056||0.12||0|
|Social Nationalist Party (Hizb al-Qawmi al-Ijtimai)||5,349||0.09||0|
|al-Haqq Party (Hizb al-Haqq)||4,585||0.08||0|
|People's Democratic Party (Hizb al-Shab al-Dimuqrati)||4,077||0.07||0|
|Democratic Union of Popular Forces (al-Ittihad al-Dimuqrati)||3,003||0.05||0|
|Social Green Party (Hizb al-Khudr al-Ijtimai)||2,276||0.04||0|
|Popular Unity Party (Hizb al-Wahda al-Shabiyya)||1,739||0.03||0|
|Yemeni League Party (Al Rabita al-Yamaniyya al-Shariyya)||1,383||0.02||0|
|Liberation Front Party (Hizb Jabhat al-Tahrir)||1,282||0.02||0|
|Popular Unionist Liberation Party (Hizb al-Tahrir al-Shabi al-Wahdawi)||1,241||0.02||0|
|Yemeni Unionist Gathering (al-Tajammu al-Wahdawi al-Yamani)||483||0.01||0|
|Democratic September Organization (al-Tanzim al-Sebtembri)||81||0.001||0|
|Total (turnout 76.0%)||5,912,302||100.0||301|
|Source: electionguide.org. A number of candidates elected as non-partisans joined MSA or Islah. Other sources give a different division of seats. Also list of results and parties here and here.|
In April 2003 parliamentary elections, the General People's Congress (GPC) maintained an absolute majority. International observers described the elections as "another significant step forward on Yemen’s path toward democracy; however, sustained and forceful efforts must be undertaken to remedy critical flaws in the country’s election and political processes." There were some problems with underage voting, confiscation of ballot boxes, voter intimidation, and election-related violence; moreover, the political opposition in Yemen has little access to the media, since most outlets are owned or otherwise controlled by the government.
- For an overview of the 2006 election results, see Elections in Yemen
The 2006 elections were described in positive wording, and the elections were monitored by a number of international observers. The EU's Election Observation Mission to Yemen has published this final report on the elections:  Yemeni media reported on the 22.01.2007 that the opposition coalition JMP has set up a Shadow government "to play an effective role in the political, economic and social life". The ruling party GPC called upon the opposition to "acquaint themselves with constitutional systems before starting to talk every now and then about...rosy dreams and illusions".
Judicial branch 
The constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sanaá. The Quran is the basis for all laws, and no law may contradict it. Indeed many court cases are debated by the religious basis of the laws i.e. by interpretations of the Quran. For this reason, many judges are religious scholars as well as legal authorities.
Administrative divisions 
Yemen is divided in 17 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan, Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, 'Ataq, Dhamar, Hadhramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Ta'izz. There may be four new governorates - the capital city of Sanaa, Amran, Dala'a, Raimah.
Provincial and local government 
Formal government authority is centralized in the capital city of Sanaa. Yemen’s Local Authority Law decentralized authority by establishing locally elected district and governorate councils (last elected in September 2006), formerly headed by government-appointed governors. After the September 2006 local and governorate council elections, President Salih announced various measures that would enable future governors and directors of the councils to be directly elected. In May 2008, governors were elected for the first time. However, because the ruling party, the General People’s Congress (GPC), continues to dominate the local and governorate councils, the May 2008 elections retained this party’s executive authority over the governorates. In rural Yemen, direct state control is weak, with tribal confederations acting as autonomous sub-states.
See also 
- Foreign relations of Yemen
- Constitution of Yemen
- 2011 Yemeni protests
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
- State feminism (section: Yemen)