Bajammal Government Agenda Gets Parliament’s Approval [Archives:2001/19/Front Page]

May 7 2001

The Yemeni parliament on Sunday approved the Bajammal government’s agenda, and voted in favor of a confidence motion. One hundred and ninety-five members voted in favor of the program, six against while two abstained. The Islah party members boycotted the voting session in protest against the program in general and restructuring of the educational systems which aims at sabotaging the religious Institutes which Islah has been patronizing for over 22 years.
The MPs belonging to Islah, Nasserite Union, Baath and independents released a statement, disapproving of the program of the government and pointing out its shortcomings. The statement condemned the policy of the government which will lead to an increase in prices of several goods, foodstuffs, diesel fuel. They believe this could cause enormous suffering for the people, in view of the fact that half of the population lives below the poverty line. It said that the program did not include a mechanism with which it would tackle such problems as, raising salaries of employees in different sectors. It also criticized the policy of the government towards education and information. The statement said that the program did not ensure that the official media would adhere to the national norms, so as to preserve the Islamic identity of Yemen.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Hussain Al-Ahmar, speaker of the parliament, and chairman of the Islah party also boycotted the deliberation from the very beginning expressing his protest against what he described as the governmental stand to undermine the religious institutes run under the supervision of the Islah party. Both administratively and academically. Sheikh Al-Ahmar sent a letter to the parliament expressing an apology for his inability to attend the sessions in which the government program was to be discussed. He considered the said institutes as among the valuable outcomes of the revolution and glorified the republic.
The number of these religious institutes is about 400, covering different stages of education with more than 250,000 students studying in them under the tutelage of the educational cadre affiliated to the Islah party.
Commenting on the Parliament’s approval of the new government’s program, Dr. Mohammed Abdulmajeed Al-Qubaty told Yemen Times that the parliament’s endorsement of the government’s agenda was the first step towards modernization and full institutionalization of the government. “This step is the starting point for the efforts of the government towards enforcing law and order in all aspects of life, all over the country”.