Anticipating Yemen's Ratification Battle
The country’s warring factions have come together for the first time to jointly write a new constitution and prepare for the nation’s first free parliamentary elections after three decades of dictatorship. The government, recognizing historical divisions, is looking to give the country’s regions more autonomy while keeping them together under one banner.
A federal state is likely to emerge from the talks, officials say, which could see Yemen divided into as many as seven semiautonomous states with San’a remaining the capital.
But whether the constitution will be ratified in a countrywide referendum in November is questionable, as Hirak - the southern secessionist party that has largely boycotted the talks - demands that Yemen be partitioned into the northern and southern states that existed before unification in 1990.