Yemen's Houthi leader defends constitutional declaration

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Abdulmalek Al-Houthi, leader of the Yemeni Houthi group, said Saturday the constitutional declaration announced yesterday was "a crucial and historic step." In a televised speech from the Republican Palace he accused president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and prime minister Khaled Bahhah who resigned on January 21 in protest against the Houthi moves, of leading the country to chaos and collapse.

Referring to the Houthis' takeover of power in Sanaa, he said: "The events that have taken place since September 21 were inevitable measures to foil the plots by some local political forces against the Yemeni revolution." He warned of countering any bid by political forces to resist the constitutional declaration, saying: "We can never allow any party to tamper with the future of the country or its new track. Everybody has to shoulder their responsibilities for construction not destruction and work together for foiling the hostile designs." Al-Houthi called on the external powers to back the constitutional declaration of they are keen on the interests of the Yemeni people, instead of "bothering themselves with issuing statements of condemnation." He was apparently referring to the UN Security Council statement on Friday that the 15 Council members were ready to consider "unspecified further steps" if the Houthis did not return to negotiating table of fail to abide by the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the national dialogue conference.

In defiance of the statement, read by the Council's current president Jieyi Liu, of China, the Houthis announced today that they formed a higher security commission based on the constitutional declaration.

The commission, chaired by former minister of defense Maj.-Gen. Staff Mahmoud Al-Subeihi, consists of former minister of interior Maj.-Gen Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, heads of the national security and political security apparatuses, head of the military and security directorates, and five Houthi militant commanders.

The commission is tasked with maintaining security and stability, and protecting the public and private property and human rights.

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