Report reveals MPs’ low attendance [Archives:2007/1032/Local News]

March 12 2007

SANA'A, March 7 ) According to a report by Parliament's Presidency Board regarding attendance, Members of Parliament Hamoud Atef and Yahya Badraddin Al-Houthi, accused by the Yemeni government of supporting the Sa'ada rebellion, failed to attend any Parliament sessions last year.

MPs Mohammed Ali Abu Bakr Al-Mashhoor and Monassar Ali Monassar didn't fare much better, being absent at 99 percent of such sessions.

The report noted that 13 MPs were absent for anywhere from 63 percent to 87 percent of last year's Parliament sessions, as contrasted with 12 MPs who attended every session, thus achieving a perfect 100 percent attendance rate.

Those ideal MPs attending all sessions were: Amin Al-Selwi, Ansaf Ali Mayo, Zaid Ali Al-Shami, Salem Al-Janadi, Saleh Al-Sharjabi, Abdulaziz Karu, Abdulmalik Al-Wazir, Mohammed Al-Khadem Al-Wajih, Mohammed Al-Saqqaf, Bilqis Al-Shaddadi, Mahmoud Al-Reyashi and Nasser Abdu Arfan.

Speaker of Parliament Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar attended 32 percent of sessions, meaning he was absent for 68 percent, while his deputy Yahya Al-Rayi attended 94 percent of sessions. Other members of Parliament's Presidency Board, Abdulwahab Mahmoud and Ja'afar Ba Saleh, attended 63 percent and 81 percent of sessions, respectively.

The report justified the absence of MPs who were appointed cabinet ministers; however, they attended only 15 percent of sessions and the same applies for Aden Governor Ahmad Mohammed Al-Kuhlani, who attended only one session.

The rate of absence for heads of party blocs was as follows: Sultan Al-Barakani of the General People's Congress was absent at 8 percent of sessions, Sultan Al-Atwani of the Nasserite Unionist Party was absent at 5 percent, Abdurrahman Bafadhl of the Islah Party was absent at 7 percent and Ali Abdurabu Al-Qadhi of the Yemeni Socialist Party was absent at 4 percent.

Several MPs, including Al-Atwani, protested the report, saying it contains unauthentic information, as many MPs scored higher attendance rates because their faces aren't known.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Al-Rayi said Parliament's secretariat is responsible for any mistakes, adding that many MPs sign the attendance sheet on their colleagues' behalf.

According to Parliament's 2007 general budget, every MP receives YR 5,000 per session and up to YR 1 million per month for administrative and technical work mandated upon them.