Opposition Parties Withdraw From Yemen Talks, Claiming Houthi Threats

Accuse Rebels of Aiming to Impose Council by Force

Two Yemeni opposition parties, including the powerful Islamist party Islah, have withdrawn from the renewed crisis talks in the nation, claiming they are being threatened by the Houthi rebels.

As a Sunni Islamist faction, it is unsurprising Islah doesn’t get along well with the Shi’ite Houthis. They claimed the Houthi representative at the talks threatened to impose the presidential council by force if the parties don’t cooperate with it.

The other opposition party to withdraw from the talks, the Nasserite Unionist People’s Association, held only 3 seats in the last parliament. They similarly claimed they were being bullied in the talks.

With de facto control over the capital and much of the west coast of Yemen, the Houthis could attempt to impose a solution on their own, and threatened as much late last week. The presidential council idea seems to have some momentum with other parties as well, however, and for the sake of their political allies the Houthis seem to want to make a show of a democratic transition of power.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.