The head of the “national salvation” government in Yemen, Abdul Aziz bin Habtour, has resigned his post, in protest against Houthi interference in his work.
Sources close to Bin Habtour confirmed that he submitted his resignation to the President of the Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Samad, days after the Houthis forcefully took control of the General Authority Insurance and Pensions building on Tuesday.
One source said Bin Habtour’s authority was undermined by President Saleh al-Samad who annulled several of Habtour’s decisions in the Ministries of Awqaf, Health and Higher Education.
Habtour is also believed to have been concerned by the Houthi takeover of the General Insurance and Pension authority. On Tuesday morning, after breaking and entering, Houthi gunmen took over the Insurance and Pensions offices in Sana’a, seizing pension contributions and assuming complete authority over the institution.
According to sources, Houthi rebels and the Supreme Political Council, which runs the areas under Houthis rule, are trying to convince Bin Habtour to retract his resignation.
However, Bin Habtour’s departure reveals deep divisions between the Houthis and former president – Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party members, who form part of the “national salvation” government. The vast majority of ministries and state institutions are controlled by Houthis.
Several ministers affiliated with Saleh’s party have refused to return to work after being attacked by Houthi rebels.