Former Yemeni prime minister Khalid Bahah describes his demotion as a ‘coup’
Aden // Yemen’s former prime minister on Tuesday expressed his anger at being demoted in a cabinet reshuffle.
Khalid Bahah was removed from the posts of prime minister and vice president by president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi on Sunday due to “failures that have accompanied the performance of the government”.
Brig Gen Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar was appointed vice president and former communications minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghr was made prime minister. Mr Bahah was given a position of presidential adviser which at the time he described as “opening a new chapter” in his service to the country.
Yesterday however, Mr Bahah released a lengthy statement in which he described his demotion as “a coup against the legitimacy of the government”.
He said his dismissal went against a UN resolution aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen and the outcomes of a national dialogue and a GCC-brokered agreement to transition power from former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh who was brought down by 2011 Arab Spring protests.
Mr Bahah said the office of prime minister should be the one deciding on the government ministers rather than the president.
He added that the timing of his dismissal played into the hands of the Houthi rebels with whom the Yemeni government has been fighting since the militants forced the government from the capital Sanaa in 2014.
“These decisions will give the leaders of the coup [the Houthis] an excuse to doubt the legitimacy of the government,” the statement said.
Mr Bahah added that he had accepted the position of prime minister under difficult circumstances only to serve the country and not for self interest.
His dismissal comes days ahead of a ceasefire scheduled to start on April 10, to be followed by UN-mediated talks in Kuwait from April 18. The Yemeni government forces have been backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition as they attempt to drive the Iran-backed Houthis and their allies out of the territory they seized in 2014.
A delegation of Houthi rebels have been in Riyadh holding talks with Saudi officials in recent days ahead of the ceasefire.
On Tuesday, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsallam said there had been agreement on a number of measures to restore calm to the border areas between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account, Mr Abdulsallam said the Houthis would halt fighting in a number of areas, including Midi district, to facilitate the beginning of dialogue later this month.
Updated: April 5, 2016 04:00 AM