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Yemen: MPs call on government not to conclude deal with UAE company

August 22, 2023 at 2:49 pm

Yemen’s internationally-recognised Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed on April 7, 2022 [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

Members of the Yemeni parliament called on Prime Minister Maeen Abdul-Malik yesterday not to ratify an agreement to sell the assets of the state-owned Aden.Net to a UAE company, before the parliamentary committee issues its report and recommendations about the sale. Critics of the deal accused the government last month of seeking to sell 70 per cent of the Yemeni company’s assets to the UAE company NX Telecom. 

As many as 22 members of the pro-government parliament sent a letter to the prime minister addressing the governments’ plan to conclude the agreement and bypass parliament. The signatories said that this was a “deliberate act aimed at disrupting the work of the supervisory and legislative council.” 

The MPs referred to a previous memorandum sent by members of the House of Representatives to the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council regarding the draft contract with the NX Telecom Company, “which is being investigated by the parliamentary fact-finding committee.” The committee is known to have asked many questions about this to the prime minister and the ministry of communications. 

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The parliamentarians pointed out that replacing the Supreme Committee for Tenders and Auctions and Government Warehouses with the Council of Ministers under the pretext of the war and the absence of qualified cadres was “baseless”. They added that “government cadres who are capable and qualified for this matter are available in their hundreds, if not thousands.” 

Last month, the Yemeni ministry of communications issued a statement about a “partnership, not a sale” of the company’s assets. However, the government did not clarify the percentages applicable to the partnership, its reasons, the mechanisms for proceeding with it, and who the partners were. At the time, Yemeni activists launched a campaign against the government on social media, voicing their rejection of the deal. As a result, the Presidency of the House of Representatives formed a parliamentary fact-finding committee to look into the deal.