GPC leaders condemn, call for unity after Sana’a faction dismisses 31 party members
General People’s Congress (GPC) officials living outside Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen spoke out against the decision taken Thursday by the Sana’a-based leadership of the party to dismiss dozens of party leaders. Despite efforts to unite the GPC, which was Yemen’s ruling party for decades, the recent dismissals have laid bare the fault lines that remain between its various factions.
On Thursday, the Sana’a-based leadership of the party gathered in a meeting chaired by disputed party head Sadiq Ameen Abu Ras. According to the official website of the Sana’a faction of the party, the officials accused dozens of party members of “harming national unity,” violating “national principles,” and for convening meetings outside the framework of the party’s internal mechanisms.
Speaker of Parliament Sultan Al-Barakani, who is a longtime deputy assistant secretary general of the GPC, accused the Sana’a faction of treason and betrayal against former GPC President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “Those who committed this act were the ones who betrayed the Congress and agreed to assassinate its leader (Saleh) and his secretary general, Aref Al-Zuka,” Al-Barakani said.
Former prime minister Ahmed Bin Dagher, a senior GPC member who now serves as advisor to President Hadi, took a different tone. “It is better to avoid reacting to the decisions to issue dismissals that were announced by those who lack freedom,” Bin Dagher wrote, alluding to the fact that the Sana’a-based faction of the GPC is effectively controlled by the Houthis. He called on GPC members abroad and in Yemen to unite in fighting the Houthis.
The decision taken by the GPC-Sana’a on Thursday dismisses 31 members of the party, including senior figures like Sultan Al-Barakani, cabinet ministers, and governors, in addition to relatively low-ranking activists (full list below).
Many senior GPC officials who were not named, including Ahmed Bin Dagher and President Hadi, had already been similarly dismissed by the Sana’a-based leadership of the party earlier in the war, when former president Saleh remained the president of the GPC. Until Saleh was killed by the Houthis in December 2017, much of the party leadership, including Al-Barakani, remained loyal to Saleh as president of the party.
According to the 2019 final report by the UN panel of experts on Yemen, the Houthis clamped down heavily on the leadership of the GPC in Sana’a following Saleh’s death. The report noted that the GPC has become divided into four broad factions: one in Sana’a under effective Houthi control, one in Riyadh loyal to Hadi as disputed president of the party; one led by Sultan Al-Barakani and his associates mainly based in Cairo; and a fourth faction affiliated to Saleh’s son Ahmed, who is based in the UAE.
The full list of dismissals issued by the Sana’a faction of the GPC:
1. Sultan Saeed Al-Barakani
2. Muammar Al-Iryani
3. Nasser Ba'oum
4. Ibtihaj Al-Kamal
5. Mohammed Abdul Majid Qubati
6. Abdulghani Hafedhallah Jamil
7. Qassim Al-Kassadi
8. Abdulrahman Mu’zeb
9. Mohammed Moqbel Al-Himiary
10. Abdulkareem Al-Sunainy
11. Abu Fadhl Al-Sa'di
12. Mehdi Ali Abdulsalam
13. Abdul Wahab Mahmoud Ma’udha
14. Osman Hussein Qaed Mejalli
15. Fathi Tawfiq Abdul Rahim
16. Abdul Qawi Ahmed Aboud Al-Sharif
17. Ahmed Saleh Al-Issi
18. Sagheer Hammoud Aziz
19. Saleh Sumai’a
20. Mohammed Hussein Al-Dahbali
21. Mohammed Saleh Afif Al-Himiary
22. Hashid Abdullah Al-Ahmar
23. Ahmed Al-Sufi
24. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Qawsy
25. Adel Al-Shujaa
26. Mohammed Al-Maswari
27. Faisal Al-Shabibi
28. Fares Al-Sulaihi
29. Noura Al-Jerwi
30. AbdulKarim Al-Maddi
31. Abdul-Quwai Al-Shamiri