Over oil deal scandalParliament confronts government [Archives:2004/773/Front Page]

September 16 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Yemeni parliament has mounted its objections to the government over the oil deal scandal. The MPs demanded Monday, that Premier Abdulqader Bajamal should be summoned before the parliament, to explain his governments lingering over calling off the oil deal, as recommended by the house of representatives last June.
Some MPs have even started collecting signatures to support a vote on a motion of no confidence in the government, which has been accused of corruption on different fronts. Bajamal was expected to appear Wednesday before parliament to explain the reasons for not fulfilling the parliament's recommendations. He said in a message sent to parliament last Monday, that his government is facing some difficulties in abolishing the oil contract with two companies who bought 15% of the government portion in the oil field 53 in Hadramaut, as the parliament recommended that the contract should be called off without any financial obligation on the state towards the contracted companies. The message pointed out that the government is trying to calm the problem.
The ministry of oil previously signed the contract in which it sold 60% of the oil in field No. 53 at $13 million per year, while its annual revenue reached $20 million. At the time it denied that the deal was against the law and said that it was in favor of Yemen. But this was not convincing to the parliament which said the deal would have caused Yemen to lose YR 37 billion, had it been implemented.