Houthi power grab shocks world

Houthi power grab shocks world
Updated 08 February 2015

Houthi power grab shocks world

Houthi power grab shocks world

NEW YORK: The United Nations is alarmed by what it described as a power vacuum in Yemen after the Houthi movement dissolved Parliament on Friday and said a new interim assembly and government would be formed, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
“This power vacuum is of great concern to us,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters. “The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) and all of those who are concerned with Yemen here are following the situation very closely.” He added that UN special envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar was now returning to Sanaa because of the crisis.
The White House said it is “deeply concerned” by the takeover.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz calls it a unilateral step. He says the move by the Houthi rebels doesn’t meet the standard set by the UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, to achieve consensus in Yemen. But Schultz also says US counterterror operations in Yemen are continuing, uninterrupted, despite the takeover by the Houthis.
The Houthis announced the takeover in a televised announcement. The group said it was also forming a 151-member presidential council to act as a government for an interim two-year period. The dramatic move finalizes their power grab, which has been months in the making. The declaration was read out by TV announcer who said the move marked “a new era that will take Yemen to safe shores.” It was televised to the nation on the rebels’ television network, Al-Masseria TV.
An audience of hundreds of supporters, including former officials, at the Republican Palace in Sanaa, clapped furiously. Houthi supporters were expected to take to the streets in the capital and celebrate long into the night.