AL-SAHWA: Sanaa weekly, 1-1-98. [Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah)] [Archives:1998/01/Press Review]

January 5 1998

Main Headlines: 1- Islah bloc in parliament condemns proposed 1998 state budget as impoverishing the people 2- Court hearings on Aden bombings adjourned until February 10 due to judiciary recess 3- In a meeting with Islah leaders in Aden, the President of Islah Shoura Council, Sheikh Al-Zindani emphasized adherence to Yemeni unity Article Summary: Dubious Oil Deal In extremely suspect circumstances, an oil deal with the British Dove oil company was ratified by parliament. The Islah bloc abstained during the voting, which took place on a Thursday – a day normally allocated for discussing general issues. Certain MPs insisted that the TV team covering parlimentary proceedings should leave while the deal was being discussed. The company that won the deal belongs to the wife of the Yemeni ambassador to a European country, whose daughter is married to a ‘famous’ Yemeni ambassador. The government has refused to present to parliament the tender documents on the basis of which that unknown British company was chosen, despite it having little experience in oil business and small financial resources. The company’s letter of credit was transferred from the US, which means that there is another company that will implement the deal without any accountability to the Yemeni government.