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Introduction

During the past six years of war, President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi has failed in administering the situation in Yemen on the military and political levels. For many Yemenis, Hadi, after spending much of the conflict in exile in Saudi Arabia, is viewed not as a legitimate president but as cover for the Saudi war in Yemen, given that the Saudi-led coalition regularly asserts that its intervention is entirely at the request of Hadi and the internationally recognized Yemeni government. This lack of legitimacy and authority has resulted in the proliferation of militia rule across Yemen – most notably the armed Houthi movement, but also groups supposedly allied with the Hadi government.

Still, an argument persists that Hadi, despite his failings, is indispensable as the last symbol of the legitimacy of the Yemeni state. This line of reasoning has its logic; Hadi assumed the presidency in a single-candidate election in 2012, held as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC) initiative to facilitate the transfer of power from former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the aftermath of Yemen’s 2011 uprising. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015) recognized Hadi as Yemen’s legitimate president in the wake of the Houthi takeover of Sana’a. Therefore, the argument goes, dispensing with the Hadi presidency would throw the country into a constitutional crisis and open the door for the legitimization of militias that have managed to gain power in various parts of the country through force, a prospect that threatens further fragmentation and political chaos.

However, this line of reasoning crucially overlooks many devastating consequences that have resulted from Hadi’s unaccountable presidency, as well as the important fact that ending the war does not serve Hadi’s personal interests, as he would likely become dispensable in a post-conflict context. The presidential office, operating largely in exile since the war began, has become a hotbed of corruption. Meanwhile, Hadi’s efforts to marginalize southern rivals helped spawn the Southern Transitional Council, creating a massive fracture in the anti-Houthi camp.

Given that President Hadi has become an obstacle to peace and good governance, alternatives for achieving a more collaborative and accountable Yemeni government, and putting it on a stronger path politically, should be explored. One option in this regard is the formation of a presidential council; there is precedent in Yemen’s history for such a body, and the idea already has been discussed among negotiators as a potential solution for a transitional governance period post-conflict.

Now is an apt time to revive discussions surrounding a presidential council for several reasons. First, it represents a reasonable alternative for executive rule, rooted in Yemen’s modern history, in the event of Hadi’s sudden incapacitation or death to avoid a political crisis and uncertainty over succession. Second, a presidential council would install a collective mode of executive decision-making, preventing decisions from being taken by individuals, particularly important in regard to decisions that could serve narrow personal interests over the collective benefit for the country. Third, a more structured process for decision-making at the executive level would enhance transparency and provide openings for greater accountability.

It must be noted that this paper seeks only to explore how such a body could be formed on the internationally recognized government’s side. However, should such a presidential council prove successful and improve governance in the country, incorporating Houthi representation into the body is one possible avenue to consider in future peace talks.

To further explore the idea of a presidential council, it is useful to examine past executive councils in Yemen’s history, including their composition, strengths and weaknesses. This includes councils under four different presidents in the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1962-1978, a ruling council in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) from 1969-1978 and, finally, a presidential council following unification in 1990. The fact that many of these councils were ultimately judged to be ineffective or overthrown by force makes such an examination more critical, in the hope that identifying past issues may help a potential future executive council avoid similar pitfalls.

Presidential Councils in Yemen’s History

The Presidency of Abdullah al-Sallal (September 1962 – November 1967)

The first executive councils in Yemen’s history were formed after the republican revolution that overthrew the imamate in North Yemen. These initial revolutionary bodies were intended to replace the near-absolute religious, political and social authority previously vested in the imam, and to provide collective representation for the various political and social forces that participated in the revolution.

The Revolutionary Command Council was formed on September 27, 1962, one day after the last imam, Mohammed al-Badr was deposed. The body was made up entirely of military officials, with eight of ten members hailing from Sana’a and its environs to the north, and was headed by army officer Abdullah al-Sallal, the first president of the new Yemen Arab Republic. The creation of a five-member civilian executive body, the Sovereignty Council, was announced the following day, headed by Mohammed Ali Othman, a prominent sheikh from Taiz. Two of the other members were from Sana’a, including one Hashemite. The Sovereignty Council was intended to exercise executive authority, but in reality power was vested in the Revolutionary Command Council, specifically the faction led by President Al-Sallal, and in Vice President Abdulrahman al-Baydhani, the protégé of Egypt, the main backer of the new republic.[1]

A shift took place after Al-Baydhani was removed and forced into exile in Egypt in January 1963, and on April 17 a new executive council – The Political Office – was formed, presided over by Al-Sallal and consisting of 33 members. This expansion was notable for the inclusion of 13 tribal sheikhs, along with five Hashemites,[2] coming as the Egyptians began to rely more heavily on northern tribes during the civil war against the royalists, and as part of a realization that it was important for the new republican government to expand its base of tribal support.

Ultimately, the Political Office proved to be no more than cover, an attempt to show a representative government to the public. It had no regular meetings, no specified duties for each member and no effective role in decision making. According to a letter signed by Mohammed al-Zubairy, Abdulrahman al-Eryani, and Ahmed Noman – three influential civilian council members known for their history of political opposition to the imamate[3] Al-Sallal made decisions alone and remained subject to heavy Egyptian influence.[4]

Growing divide in the republican ranks over the Egyptian military intervention in Yemen and the civil war’s trajectory led to the creation of a slimmed-down nine-member council, still known as the Political Office, on January 8, 1964. The driving force behind this change was the republican faction led by Al-Eryani, Noman and Al-Zubairy, which opposed Egyptian hegemony in the country and Cairo’s influence on Al-Sallal. While Al-Sallal remained head of the new body, this council was notable for attempting to lay out procedures to guarantee debate over decisions. However, these rules ultimately had no ability to constrain Al-Sallal, and he remained the sole decision-maker. Seeing the failure of their efforts, Al-Eryani, Noman and Al-Zubairy resigned on December 4, 1964, in protest of the arbitrary and individual nature of decision-making in the council.[5]

In May 1965, a temporary constitution issued after the conclusion of the Khamer peace conference[6] created a new executive body: the Republican Council. The three-member council was chaired by Al-Sallal, with the other seats held by Al-Eryani and Noman bin Qaed Rageh, a tribal sheikh from Ibb. It was expanded in September to include three more members: Noman and two military officials from Sana’a.

Egypt, frustrated with the quagmire it found itself in years into the civil war in North Yemen, essentially abolished the council in September 1966, arresting Yemeni figures opposed to Cairo’s policies in the country.[7] Little more than a year later, on November 5, 1967, after the Egyptian army’s withdrawal from the country, Al-Sallal was overthrown by rival republicans. The faction that moved against Al-Sallal included Yemeni political detainees held in Egypt who had opposed Cairo’s heavy handed intervention in the country and argued for ending the war by negotiating peace among Yemenis.

Overall, Yemen’s first presidential councils under Al-Sallal were merely tools to demonstrate popular support among Yemenis for the new regime during the civil war. There was no clear criteria for membership and they were not genuine bodies for participatory decision-making. Al-Sallal held absolute authority, with obvious Egyptian influence behind the scenes.

The Presidency of Abdulrahman al-Eryani (November 1967 – June 1974)

A new presidential council, still named the Republican Council, was formed after the overthrow of Al-Sallal. As with the previous councils, there was no clear criteria for selecting members. The three-member body included Al-Eryani, the new president, as well as Noman and Othman.[8] The composition of this council was notable for the fact that it was entirely civilian. It also clearly sought to institute more collective decision-making in reaction to failings of the presidential councils under Al-Sallal.

The makeup of the council soon changed when Noman resigned in November 1967 in protest against the continuation of the civil war. He was replaced by General Hassan al-Amri; a second military official, General Hamoud al-Jaifi from Sana’a, was later added to the council. In March 1970, the republicans and royalists reached an agreement to end the war. Ahmed al-Shami, a Hashemite representing the royalists, joined the council, along with the returning Noman.

In December 1970, the first permanent constitution was adopted in North Yemen, which mandated that the country should be ruled by a three-to-five member presidential council. For the first time, a clear process for membership was laid out: ‘Elections’ would be held for a new body, the Shura Council,[9] which would then choose the Republican Council members. In April 1971, the first Republican Council mandated under the constitution was formed, made up of President Al-Eryani, Othman and General Al-Amri. In 1972, Al-Amri left Yemen for Egypt and judge Abdullah al-Hajri was elected to replace him. The next year, Othman was killed in a personal dispute and replaced by Noman.[10]

The presidential council chaired by Al-Eryani stands out from the rest in Yemen’s history for two main reasons: It was the first based on a permanent constitution; and it included clear mandates to regulate its work. As president, Al-Eryani considered the opinions of other council members and did not take decisions unilaterally. This tendency toward compromise likely stemmed from several factors, including Al-Eryani’s personality, his experience working in state institutions in both the imamate and the republic, and the fact he hailed from the qadi social class (this distinguished him from army officials and tribal leaders, who could call on supporters who tended to be more militarized). A willingness to compromise was also essential at the time to maintain the balance of power within the republican ranks and to facilitate Al-Eryani’s main aim of concluding an agreement to end the civil war.

Still, divisions and behind-the-scenes intrigue continued to be a hallmark of early politics in North Yemen, and on June 13, 1974, a bloodless coup forced the first and last civilian president in North Yemen to step down.

The Presidency of Ibrahim al-Hamdi (June 1974 – October 1977)

Taking over as president from Al-Eryani in the wake of the coup was Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim al-Hamdi, who suspended the constitution and formed a seven-member body, the Military Forces General Command Council, to govern the country. This presidential council solidified the military’s role in Yemeni politics– all future presidents in North Yemen and unified Yemen would come from the ranks of the army.

The Military Forces General Command Council included 10 members, with all but Muhsin al-Aini coming from military backgrounds. Al-Aini was close to tribal sheikh Sinan Abu Luhum, an influential figure in the army who was one of the main plotters in the overthrow of Al-Eryani’s government.[11] Al-Hamdi later removed potential competitors from the body, including some of his early supporters from the Bakil tribe, which was heavily represented in the council; he also removed Abu Luhum from the army leadership. These purges were likely done in an attempt to expand the authority and influence of the state, and Al-Hamdi himself, at the expense of tribes.

A new four-person council was appointed in April 1975, which included Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed al-Ghashmi, an Al-Hamdi loyalist from the Hashid tribal confederation, General Abdullah Abd al-Alim from Taiz, and Abdulaziz Abdulghani, a technocrat also from Taiz. The body was chaired by Al-Hamdi until his assassination in unclear circumstances in October 1977.

Ultimately, presidential councils under Al-Hamdi lost all importance. They did not serve as a show of support for the new system of government – as was the case under Al-Sallal – or as a consultative decision making body – as they did under Al-Eryani. Rather, Al-Hamdi was a charismatic military leader and wannabe strongman in the mold of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was buoyed politically by his ability to connect with the public and the sense of improved stability in North Yemen, particularly on the economic front, that followed the end of the civil war. However, the fact that Al-Hamdi hailed from a qadi family and had no tribal support base meant he was totally dependent on the army, made up mostly of northern tribesmen, for keeping him in power.

The Presidency of Ahmed al-Ghashmi (October 1977 – June 1978)

On October 11, 1977, Ahmed al-Ghashmi succeeded Al-Hamdi as president. The previous council was kept in place until January 1978 when a constitutional declaration abolished it, along with any illusions of collective rule, and transferred the authority held by the council to a single individual. Al-Ghashmi’s term did not last long – he was unpopular and many people suspected his involvement in the killing of his predecessor. Al-Ghashmi himself was assassinated in June 1978. His tenure was notable, however, for being the first time a president of North Yemen ruled without a council.

The last presidential council in North Yemen was formed to facilitate the transfer of power after the sudden death of Al-Ghashmi. It was presided over by judge Abdulkareem al-Arashi, with the other members being Prime Minister Abdulaziz Abdulghani, army Commander-in-Chief Ali al-Sheiba, and Ali Abdullah Saleh, the commander of the Taiz Military Axis. This body lasted a little over a month. Saleh was named president on July 17, 1978, after a vote in the People’s Constituent Assembly. He would rule for the next 33 years.

The Presidential Council in South Yemen (1969 – 1979)

The first and only presidential council in South Yemen was formed after President Qahtan al-Shaabi (from Lahj) was overthrown by hardline Marxists on June 22, 1969. Its main purpose was to manage political divisions within the National Liberation Front (which became the Socialist Party in 1978) and achieve balance among different regions in the south.

The council included five members: Abdelfatah Ismail (from Taiz in North Yemen), Mohammed Ali Haytham (Abyan), Mohammed Saleh al-Awlaqi (Shabwa), Ali Antar (Al-Dhalea) and council president Salim Rubai Ali (Abyan). Personnel changes took place in the first two years of the council, starting with the replacement of Mohammed Haytham with Ali Nasser Mohammed (Abyan), and later the removal of Al-Awlaqi.[12] Home region and influence within the National Liberation Front appeared to be the main criteria for selecting members. Unlike in North Yemen, influence within the army was not a primary consideration.

The presidential council in South Yemen differed from its northern counterparts in that members had equal power and influence. As a result, South Yemen essentially had three presidents – Salim Rubai Ali, Abdalfatah Ismail and Ali Nasser Mohammed – who always appeared together in speeches and meetings. However, there was simmering conflict between Rubai (more commonly known as Salmeen) and Ismail, with the former advocating a pro-Chinese Maoist model of governance and the latter wanting to apply a Russian Marxist model. In their power struggle, Salmeen was assisted by his social background and base of support from Abyan, his charismatic personality and the loyalty of the army. Ismail, originally from Al-Hujaria region in Taiz, lacked any social support base in South Yemen; therefore, he relied mainly on his role as the primary Socialist ideologue in the country as well as a popular militia he established as a parallel army. Ali Nasser was the mediator between them.

While the balance of power in the presidential council among members created a real experience of power sharing, it was unable to prevent internal conflict. President Salmeen was killed by his colleagues in 1978. Ismail became president before he was replaced two years later by Ali Nasser Mohammed, who himself was removed following a short but bloody civil war in 1986.

The deadly power struggles within the executive council in South Yemen can be partly attributed to the fact that the body was not intended to be a democratic one; rather, the division of power within the council reflected the factionalized state of the National Liberation Front at the time.

The Unity Presidential Council (1990 – 1994)

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Yemen and South Yemen agreed to unify into a single country on May 22, 1990. According to the unification agreement, a presidential council consisting of five members would be elected by a joint session of the parliaments of North Yemen and South Yemen, which in turn would elect a president and vice president in its first session.

Membership on the council was not based on any clear criteria, though it did adhere to a rough geographic balance. Three members were from North Yemen – President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abdulaziz Abdulghani and Abdulkareem al-Arashi – and two were from South Yemen – President Ali Salem al-Bidh and Salem Saleh Mohammed – while the prime minister was also a southerner. Saleh came from a military background, Abdulghani was a technocrat from Taiz and Al-Arashi was a politician and judge from Sana’a. Among the southerners, Al-Bidh was from Hadramawt and served as South Yemen’s first defense minister while Mohammed was from the Yafa’a tribes in Lahj.[13]

Saleh was elected as president of the council and Al-Bidh became the vice president, with authority divided between the two men. Each had an equal and independent budget and enjoyed presidential power in decisions and appointments in their respective areas (north and south). Later, the two parliaments of North Yemen and South Yemen were integrated into a single body, which was given the legislative authority to review and approve certain presidential decisions. A permanent constitution was adopted in a referendum on May 22, 1991, which was followed by parliamentary elections on April 27, 1993.

Due to imbalances between the north and south of the country in terms of population, the Socialist Party managed only the third most seats in unified Yemen’s first elected parliament. Ahead of them were two mostly northern parties, Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) and the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah), an Islamist party linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. To reflect these results, Al-Arashi was replaced on the council by hardline cleric Abdulmajeed al-Zindani.

The parliamentary elections in 1993 ultimately altered the balance of power that had been laid out in the unification agreement, based on partnership between the respective ruling parties in North Yemen and South Yemen: the GPC and the Socialist Party. Growing collaboration between President Saleh and Islah, which could call on a large number of supporters in the more populous areas of northern Yemen, was seen as an obvious escalation against the Socialist Party, a mutual rival for both parties.[14]

Simmering tension since the 1993 parliamentary elections and the failure to solve mounting political crises through negotiation led to the outbreak of open hostilities between northern and southern forces. In April 1994, violent clashes broke out between the two sides, and a month later, Al-Bidh announced that South Yemen would secede. The brief civil war ended in July 1994 with forces aligned with Saleh, including some southern factions as well as Islamists, defeating the secessionists. After the victory in the civil war, Saleh had sole authority over the entire country.[15]

While the unification presidential council did experience some real power sharing in the sense that President Saleh did not exercise absolute authority, it was chaotic and ultimately short-lived. The fact that the army remained divided along north-south lines under the unification agreement also helped set the stage for Saleh and Al-Bidh to resort to military force to settle their political disputes.

Why Past Attempts at Collective Rule Failed

Identifying commonalities among Yemen’s past presidential councils provides a better understanding of why they were all ultimately unsuccessful, since none were able to establish lasting structures and mechanisms for more democratic and collaborative rule. These failings provide potentially crucial insights on what can be done differently to improve the feasibility and effectiveness of a future executive council.

Nearly all past presidential councils suffered from having no clear mandate. There was no clear delineation of responsibilities, duties and obligations. The exception was the Republican Council chaired by President Abdulrahman al-Eryani (1967-1974), where supervisory tasks were divided among council members. Its legitimacy was also boosted by a constitution that clarified how the council would be chosen, along with its specific makeup and mandates.

A second common theme among the councils was the overwhelming influence granted to the president/chairman. Rule tended to be based on the individual personality of the president or chairman, who was viewed as the leader of the country rather than the head of a body with authority ostensibly shared among members. Members of the councils were generally selected by the president with no clear criteria besides social, historical, tribal and regional considerations at the time. In reality, the illusion of collective rule mostly served as window dressing for rule by a single individual or faction.

Finally, the failed presidential councils can be partly attributed to the lack of democratic experience in Yemen. Given that most councils ultimately fell to civil or internal conflict, there was little accumulation of experience or setting of precedent that was carried over from council to council. Power-sharing formulas were employed mostly to suit the unique political circumstances at the time.

Recommendations for a Future Presidential Council

Returning to the present, it is clear that any effort to form an executive council would face resistance politically. The biggest opposition within the current government would inevitably come from President Hadi and his allies, most notably the Islah party, one of the most powerful factions within the government camp. The two currently have an alliance of necessity. Hadi protects Islah from the United Arab Emirates’ hostile policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood and covers for the party’s tendency to consolidate power in areas under their control. Meanwhile, Hadi lacks a real support base given the fragmentation of the GPC, so Islah crucially provides him with popular support and media capabilities.

Thus, any initiative to form a more collaborative and accountable executive would inevitably require pressure to be exerted on Hadi. While the UN and other international stakeholders could push for such an outcome, this would run into messy issues related to state sovereignty. Therefore, there is only one actor capable of influencing Hadi’s calculus and behavior: Saudi Arabia.

As the main backer political and military backer of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, Saudi Arabia could inform Hadi that he will not receive any further support until he agrees to relinquish some of his authority to an executive council. The framing of such an initiative is crucial to assuage both Hadi and his allies. For instance, Islah, given its massive media and propaganda machine, would need to be given guarantees that it will remain a primary partner in power in Yemen.

An initiative to form a presidential council could be presented as a first step in a much-needed process of comprehensive governance reform in Yemen. There is already a recognized necessity to reactivate Yemen’s institutions, given that executive authority is the only branch of government still functioning. Parliament is essentially defunct; MPs were last elected in 2003, and only one parliamentary session for the internationally recognized government has been held since the start of the conflict, in May 2019, and it failed to reach a quorum. The country has undergone a radical political transformation since the last parliamentary elections, rendering the legislature no longer representative of the country’s main political stakeholders, nor the needs and ambitions of the Yemeni people overall.

The primary aims in forming a presidential council should be preventing the individual monopolization of power and instituting more collective decision-making in a body representing Yemen’s major social and political groups. In terms of numbers, the council must balance the need to represent the country’s main stakeholders while also striving to limit the number of seats to facilitate the efficiency of its work. As a starting point, a 12-15 member council (to allow for representation of the country’s main social and political entities) presided over by a president and two vice presidents should be explored. Hadi would remain president of the council, but his role would be limited to endorsing the composition of the council and transferring presidential authority to the new body. He would have no other powers. Decision-making in the council would be based on majority rule.

A plenary session, featuring the most important political and social groups in the country, would be convened to agree on representation and the selection of based on clear and transparent criteria. Membership in the presidential council should be wide enough to include representatives from different regions and powerful actors to avoid any marginalization or concentration in power. In addition to ensuring that different political and social groups are represented (including the parties participating in the current Cabinet), this council should also include women, independent youth and civil society representatives.

The executive council should be given clear and limited mandates laid out in the council’s regulations. These should include the authority to make certain appointments such as the prime minister, provide oversight on government institutions and set the general framework for foreign and defense policies. It should be granted limited access to the financial budget of the state, given that its main mission is oversight, not implementation. Council regulations should also clearly define the frequency of meetings, the process for voting and the rights and duties of each member.

Importantly, such a governing structure would leave implementation duties to a Cabinet made up of technocrats, chosen solely based on their qualifications, not political or social considerations. Expanding the authority and mandates of governors and local councils would also be a positive move toward decentralization and promoting more accountable and empowered local governance.

This proposal also acknowledges the difficulty in achieving such reforms within Yemen’s current constitutional framework. However, given that Yemen’s outdated parliament doesn’t represent all Yemeni parties and its failure to carry out the role laid out for it in the constitution, it is not a good idea for parliament to take the lead on such an initiative. Rather, a group of parliamentarians and political party members advocating for a presidential council proposal could work to gain wide buy-in from various domestic and regional stakeholders. With cover from regional actors and the United Nations Security Council – given the fact that Yemen is under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter – the legitimacy of a presidential council will be similar to that of the internationally recognized government represented by Hadi, and whatever legitimacy Hadi has stemming UNSC resolution 2216 would be passed on to a presidential council. Such a mechanism could also serve as a potential guide on how to incorporate other parties into the government in a post-conflict scenario, such as the armed Houthi movement.

Detractors may say that such a proposal would further weaken the internationally recognized government. However, a presidential council is consistent with the new reality on the ground, defined by the fragmentation of authority and the increasing autonomy of governorates and local bodies and groups. Crucially, it also provides a plan B for a post-Hadi scenario to avoid a political crisis. Furthermore, such an arrangement should be considered only as a temporary solution to extraordinary circumstances, not a permanent framework for governing Yemen.

While a change at the executive level of the internationally recognized government is not a panacea to Yemen’s problems, reformulating how presidential power is exercised is a crucial step that can be carried out alongside other reforms to put the government on a more stable footing. Real debate and discussion on how the Yemeni government can better exercise executive authority is necessary to pull the country out of its multiple crises. In this process of reform, the priority must be ensuring fair and inclusive representation without weakening the performance of the government.

 

Author’s note: This paper would not have come to fruition without input and comments from Mustapha Noman, Lutfi Noman, Tawfeek al-Ganad and Abdulghani al-Eryani.


The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies is an independent think-tank that seeks to foster change through knowledge production with a focus on Yemen and the surrounding region. The Center’s publications and programs, offered in both Arabic and English, cover political, social, economic and security related developments, aiming to impact policy locally, regionally, and internationally.

This paper was funded by the German Federal Government, the Government of Canada and the European Union. The views, analysis and recommendations expressed in this paper can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the positions or policies of the donors.


Endnotes

  1. “Yemen in one century,” Sana’a: Saba news agency, p. 124.
  2. Abdulrahman al-Eryani, “Biography of the Judge President Abdulrahman al-Eryani, 2nd part” Cairo: Dar al-Hay’at al-Masirya al-‘Amah, 2013, p. 79.
  3. Al-Zubairy was a writer and poet. Al-Eryani was a qadi (judge). Noman was known as “the teacher” for his active role in building schools and promoting education.
  4. Abdulrahman al-Eryani, “Biography of the Judge President Abdulrahman al-Eryani, 2nd part” Cairo: Dar al-Hay’at al-Masirya al-‘Amah, 2013, pp. 76-81.
  5. Ibid.
  6. The peace conference, held in the Khamer area of Amran governorate, 50 kilometers north of Sana’a, on May 1, 1965, was attended by almost all northern tribes’ sheikhs, with the goal of reaching a political agreement to consolidate the republican system.
  7. Abdulrahman al-Eryani, “Biography of the Judge President Abdulrahman al-Eryani, 2nd part” Cairo: Dar al-Hay’at al-Masirya al-‘Amah, 2013, pp. 319-320.
  8. Ibid. p. 621.
  9. Members of the Shura Council were not chosen via direct elections. Rather, every regional or tribal power selected members to represent them in Shura Council, which in turn selected members for the Republican Council.
  10. Lutfi Noman, “Ahmed Mohammed al-Noman Biography,” Beirut: Dar Riyadh al Rayes, 2019.
  11. “Yemen in one century,” Sana’a: Sabaa news agency, pp. 213-214.
  12. Ibid, p. 194.
  13. Ibid, p. 307.
  14. Ibid, p. 194.
  15. “Yemen in one century,” Sana’a: Sabaa news agency, pp. 319-321.
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