Houthis Welcome New Yemeni PM

Houthis Welcome New Yemeni PMHouthis Welcome New Yemeni PM

Yemen’s president named the country’s UN envoy as prime minister on Monday in a move welcomed by the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi group which controls the capital, signaling an easing in the country’s prolonged political crisis.

An aide to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said Khaled Bahah’s name had been among three proposed last week by the Houthi group after they rejected appointment of Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as prime minister last week, Reuters reported.

“We believe he (Bahah) is the right person,” said Abdelmalek al-Ejri, a member of the Houthi political bureau. “His appointment will help the country overcome the difficulties it is going through.”

Bahah, who was born in 1965 and who holds a masters degree in administration, business and finance from India’s University of Pune, served previously as oil minister before being appointed Yemen’s envoy to the United Nations.

Analysts say he is a technocrat who is expected to focus on trying to improve public services in a country that has been going through political turmoil since mass protests in 2011 forced long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

His appointment comes under a power-sharing deal signed last month by the Houthis and other major political parties at Hadi’s presidential palace. The deal aims to bring the Houthis and the wing of a separatist group into a more inclusive government.

The Houthis, whose main stronghold is in Yemen’s northern highlands, seized Sanaa after defeating forces loyal to an army general.