Yemeni PM rejects cabinet reshuffle

Yemeni prime minister rejects cabinet reshuffle of ministers ordered by President Hadi

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah of Yemen speaking in Marib, Yemen. November 22, 2015

A cabinet reshuffle ordered on Tuesday by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was rejected by Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, a senior government official has said.

President Hadi, who returned to the southern Yemeni city of Aden last month, ordered the replacement of five interior and foreign ministers including acting Foreign Minister Reyad Yassin Abdulla on Tuesday.

Leader of the government's peace negotiators Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi was named as a replacement for Yeyad Yassin Abdulla, the Saba state news agency said.

Hadi also appointed the government’s chief negotiator with the Houthis and upper house member Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi as the new foreign minister.

The reshuffle ordered by Hadi came after government forces struggled to fight against Houthi insurgents who captured the southwestern province of Taez, the third largest city in Yemen.

Hadi’s fight against Iran-backed Houthi insurgents to restore his authority in the country has been backed by an Arab coalition since March 2015, when he fled to Saudi Arabia and asked for assistance.

The presidential office has not yet commented on the latest issues.

Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi sits during a meeting with government officials in the country's southern port city of Aden, December 1, 2015

The disagreement between Hadi and Bahah was deepened when the president appointed the minister of health as acting foreign minister in March.

Officials close to Bahah said he refused to allow Abdullah in government meetings.

Supporters of Hadi have been accusing Bahah of being ineffective and have blamed him for the failure to make progress in reconstructing Aden which had been held by the Houthis before they were pushed back.

On the other hand, Bahah has been accusing Hadi of make independent decisions without consulting him and of making Yemen dependent on Saudi Arabia as the air campaign against Houthi positions continues with the support of the Saudi-led coalition.

"Rashness must end, and we will try to achieve that, and when we fail to push it away, we will be more clear with our people, our brothers and with ourselves before anybody else," Bahah said in a statement he wrote on Facebook.

TRTWorld and agencies