By Mubarak Mohamed
HADRAMAUT (AA) – The Yemeni parliament convened on Saturday for the first time since civil war broke out in Yemen in March 2015.
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is based in Saudi Arabia, and delegates of Arab and foreign countries attended the parliament session in the eastern city of Seyon.
More than 143 lawmakers attended Saturday’s session, a parliamentary source told Anadolu Agency.
During the session, lawmakers elected Sultan al-Burkani, the head of the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC), as speaker of the assembly.
The 301-member parliament was elected way back in 2009, before their six-year term in office ran out in 2015, about the time they were driven out of the country by Houthi rebels.
The Yemeni government is currently based in the southern city of Aden.
Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen in hopes of rolling back Houthi gains.
The violence has destroyed much of Yemen’s basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.