[14/June/2003] THE GENERAL ELECTIONS AND REFERENDUM LAW for
2001 OF THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN
Operational Definitions & Voting Rights
Definition of Terms
Article (1): This Law shall be called the General Elections &
Article (2): For the purpose of this Law, the following words and
expressions shall have the following meanings unless
the context dictates otherwise:
(a) Republic: The Republic of Yemen;
(b) Citizen: Every Yemeni national (male or female);
(c) Voter: Every citizen entitled to vote in any general elections and/or referendum in accordance with the Constitution and the provisions of this Law;
(d) Voting domicile: The usual place of residence of a person or the place where this person has his/her main business or the place of residence of his/her family even if the said person does not live in such a place;
(e) General elections: The direct means for people to exercise their right to elect the President of the Republic and to designate their representatives in Parliament and/or Local Councils through direct and free elections and by means of secret balloting;
(f) Supreme Committee: The Elections and Referendum Supreme Committee;
(g) Supreme Committee’s General Secretariat: The Administrative, Financial & Technical Apparatus of the Supreme Committee;
(h) Branch Offices of the General Secretariat: All administrative units formed by the Supreme Committee in the Capital City Municipality and at the centers of other Governorates to undertake administrative tasks and responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of this Law and its Executive Order;
(i) Voter Registers’ Committees: The Main Committee and the Branch Committees in charge of establishing the registers featuring the names and particulars of voters. This includes reviewing and making copies of the said registers all in accordance with provisions of this Law;
(j) Supervisory Committees: The committees formed by the Supreme Committee in each Governorate in order to supervise the work of other elections subcommittees;
(k) Election Committees: The Main Committee and Subcommittees formed by the Supreme Committee for the sole purpose of administering the whole elections processes including balloting, vote-counting and declaration of results at each constituency level;
(l) First Sub-committee: The core committee at any electoral center. The same committee also acts as the main committee at district electoral levels;
(m) Constituency: An area which is part of the electoral districts of the Republic where citizens exercise their right to vote in accordance with the Constitution and the provisions of this Law and other applicable laws;
(n) Electoral Center: A sub-division at the constituency level where eligible voters exercise their right to vote in any general elections and/or referendum;
(o) Electoral District: The core electoral units which constitute an electoral center within any given constituency. Voter Registers at electoral district levels shall be deemed official registers for local, parliamentary and presidential elections and/or public referenda;
(p) Electoral final register: The officially announced lists of eligible voters. These lists are final and irrevocable;
(q) Balloting: The direct means for voters to express their opinion(s) in any general elections and/or referendum;
(r) General referendum: The direct means to solicit public opinion about any subject and/or issue through a general referendum to be called upon by the President in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution;
(s) Proportionate majority: The relative majority of valid votes in any general elections;
(t) Absolute majority: More than half the number of votes in any general elections;
(u) By-laws: All Executive Orders linked up to this Law;
(v) Supplementary elections: Complementary elections conducted in one or more electoral center(s) at any constituency level where the results of the general elections are declared null or where elections are prematurely terminated;
(w) By-elections: A special election to replace a politician who has left Parliament or the Local Council as a result of resignation, death and/or appointment to a public office
other than the Council of Ministers.
Part One: Section Two
Article (3): All citizens who have attained (18) complete calendar years are entitled to vote except naturalized persons who have not completed the cool-off period required by Law following naturalization.
(a) All voters exercise their voting rights in the constituency they have their domicile address. If a person has more than one domicile address, s/he shall be required to decide the domicile where s/he wishes to vote. In any event, no person may be allowed to register in more than one electoral center. A voter may only be allowed to exercise his/her right to vote in the electoral center in which s/he is registered.
(b) A voter may have the right to change his/her domicile address and opt for another one within the options available for each voter in accordance with the provisions of this Law. In such instances, a voter shall be required to submit an application to this effect to the applicable election committee within whose jurisdiction the new domicile address falls. The Voter Registration Card shall be attached to the said application. Following this, the election committee referred to above shall be required to enter the voter’s name into its registers providing that all legal requirements are fulfilled. Accordingly, the Supreme Committee shall be informed and shall be required to relay such information, in due course, to the applicable election committee within whose jurisdiction the former domicile address falls. The committee shall then be required to delete the said voter’s name from its registers before the publication of the Final Voters’ Register in accordance with the provisions of Article (13) of this Law. No committee shall have the right to register any voter on relocation grounds before a lapse of at least (6) months following the submission of an application for registration.
(c) All election committees shall be required to forward to the Supreme Committee all changes in voter registers due to relocations on the next day following the deadline for voter registration. The Supreme Committee shall – in turn – relay such information to all concerned authorities within (7) days following the closure of registration. Election committees shall then be required to delete (where appropriate) relocated voters’ names from their registers.
(d) Any person who has deliberately and knowingly caused his/her name to be listed in voter registers using more than one domicile address in clear violation of the provisions of Article (13) of this Law – shall be punishable in compliance with the provisions of Article (133) of this Law and the penalties stipulated thereof.
(e) No person shall be forced to accept a specific domicile address or to vote against his/her wish in favor of a designated candidate. Any person (from the military or civil service) who may have abused power and authority to influence the opinion of any given voter – shall be punishable in accordance with the provisions of Article (133) of this Law. Such a person may also be removed from office.
Article (5): For purposes appertaining to presidential elections and/or public referenda, the Republic of Yemen shall be deemed as one constituency. Eligible voters in possession of proof of identity (i.e. valid ID., Voter Registration Card, and/or any official document with personal photograph attached to it) shall have the right to vote at any electoral center. The Supreme Committee shall take appropriate measures to guarantee the right to vote to all eligible voters.
(a) Yemeni citizens living abroad whose names are duly entered in the electoral final register and who are in possession of a Voter Registration Card – may be allowed to vote at any Yemeni embassy and/or consulate overseas. The Supreme Committee shall take appropriate measures to ensure implementation of this Clause in view of embassy circumstances in each country.
(b) Elections may not be administered at a Yemeni embassy and/or consulate unless the quorum of (500) eligible voters with valid Voter Registration Cards is met.
Article (7): The Supreme Committee shall take all appropriate
measures to encourage women to exercise their voting
rights by forming Women Committees to undertake the
tasks of registration and identity verification of women
voters in district and electoral centers at each individual
Article (8): Each eligible voter shall have one vote and may not be allowed to cast his/her vote more than once during the same electoral round.
(a) Each constituency shall have a permanent voters’ register prepared by the Main Committee and other sub-committees. The scope of jurisdiction and offices of these committees shall be determined by the Supreme Committee. The said committees shall exercise their duties in accordance with the provisions of this Law and other relevant By-laws and Executive Orders.
(b) Sub-committees shall be required to submit to the Main Committee the registers of all eligible voters in each constituency to be incorporated in the permanent voters’ register of the said constituency. Registers shall be duly signed by the head and members of each committee.
Article (10): The voter registers in each constituency shall include detailed listing of particulars of all citizens – (i.e. name, surname, profession, date of birth, domicile address, etc.) – who on January first of each year would have become constitutionally eligible to exercise their voting rights. Voters may not be allowed to register in more than one constituency.
Article (11): Voters’ Registration Committees shall be held responsible for verifying the identity of each voter to ensure that s/he has attained the legal age. This may be ascertained by means of a proper ID. card or any statement or testimony issued by a local official on condition that a personal photograph is attached to such a statement or testimony. Such statements and/or testimonies may be given under oath.
(a) Periodic reviewing and up-dating of voter registers shall be carried out during a (30) day period once every two years. A final review shall also be carried out at least (4) months before any general elections. Periodic reviewing shall be made to ensure that names of all citizens who are eligible to vote are included. In any event, no changes in voter registers shall be affected after the call is issued for voters to participate in any general elections and/or referendum.
(b) Any periodic reviewing of voter registers shall aim at:
1. Adding the names of persons who have become eligible to vote in accordance with the Law;
2. Adding the names of persons who were wrongfully omitted from previous registers;
3. Deleting names of the deceased;
4. Omitting the names of persons who have lost their right to vote. Such omissions may have to be explained and justified;
5. Deleting all names which may have been wrongfully inserted. Such omissions may have to be explained and justified;
6. Omission of all names of persons who have changed their domicile addresses and the addition of new arrivals to the voter register at constituency level.
(a) Official copies of voter registers for each constituency endorsed by the Head of the Main Committee shall be posted in designated areas for five days from Day No. (6) following the end of the reviewing process of voter registers. Political parties and organizations shall have the right to obtain (upon request) official copies of voter registers at their own cost. Such requests may only be entertained within the (5) day period cited above.
(b) Each citizen residing in any constituency is entitled to request the Main Committee to enter his/her name in the voters’ register had that been wrongfully omitted or deleted. Each registered voter shall have the right to demand the insertion of any name which may have been wrongfully omitted or the deletion of any name which may have been wrongfully inserted. In such instances, applications should be presented to the offices of the committee in charge of reviewing voter registers within (15) days from the day marking the official publication of the voters’ registers. Each application shall be recorded against a receipt in a special register marking the filing date for each request and/or application. Each voter shall be entitled to examine such registers.
(a) Applications for addition and deletion (referred to in the Article cited above) shall be dealt with the following day. Final decisions shall be reached within (5) days following the submission of such applications and/or requests. The Reviewing Committee of Voter Registers may have an audience with the applicant and the other person involved in each case and may undertake all investigations and enquiries which are deemed appropriate by the said Committee.
(b) Decisions taken by the Committee cited above shall be posted in designated areas as detailed in Article (13) hereof and for five consecutive days from the date such decisions are being reached.
(a) Each eligible voter from any constituency shall be entitled to contest and appeal the decisions taken by the Reviewing Committee of Voter Registers. Such contests and/or appeals may be presented before a Court of First Instance with subject-matter jurisdiction within (5) days following the announcement of the Reviewing Committee’s decisions. In any event, each case shall be decided upon by Court independently. The Court may up-hold the contest by ordering amendment of voter registers either by addition or deletion of names or it may otherwise overturn such contests. Courts shall start dealing with contests one day following the beginning of the review and appeal period. The court’s verdicts shall be announced within (15) days following the deadline for appeals and/or contests to be filed. A copy of court verdicts shall be forwarded to the Main Committee and to concerned contestant(s). The Main Committee shall be required to post all court verdicts in the designated areas specified in Article (13) of this Law. Court verdicts shall be posted for (5) consecutive days following the announcement of court rulings.
(b) Every eligible voter in any constituency shall be entitled to contest the rulings of the Court of First Instance by filing an appeal to any judge appointed by the Head of the Court of Appeals in any Governorate within (10) days following the deadline for such appeals to be filed. If need arises, several judges may be delegated to look into such appeals in various constituencies. Court rulings in such instances shall be final and irrevocable and shall be announced within (20) days from the deadline for such appeals to be filed. Court rulings shall be forwarded to each individual contestant and to the concerned Supervisory Committee which in turn shall be required to furnish the Main Committee with copies of these rulings no later than (24) hours following their receipt.
(a) The Main Committee shall be required to affect changes in voters’ registers according to final and irrevocable court rulings. No changes shall be allowed in voters’ registers following the call for electorate to vote. Once such a call is issued, voters’ registers shall be deemed final.
(b) Voters’ final registers are indisputable. No person shall be allowed to vote in any general election and/or referendum unless that person’s name is duly entered in voters’ final register.
(c) In exceptional circumstances where elections and/or referendum are called upon in short notice, the final voters’ register used in any recent election together with any recent addenda shall be deemed appropriate and binding for election and referendum purposes.
Article (17): Five copies of voters’ registers shall be issued for each
constituency. Each copy shall be duly signed by the
Head of the Main Committee and two other committee
members. A copy of voters’ register shall be deposited
with the following bodies: (a) the designated Elections
Committee at the constituency level (b) the Supreme
Elections Committee (c) the Parliament’s Secretariat
(d) the Supreme Court (e) the General Secretariat’s
Chapter of the Supreme Committee at the Governorate level.
(a) Each citizen whose name is entered in voters’ registers shall have the right to vote upon submission of a proper ID. Card, Voter Registration Card and/or any other statement on condition that a personal photograph is attached to such a statement.
(b) By-laws shall stipulate rules and regulations appertaining to Voter Registration Cards.
The Supreme Committee: Organizational Structure, Duties & Responsibilities
(a) The Supreme Elections Committee is composed of (7) members to be appointed by the President of the Republic. The appointees shall be selected from a list of (15) candidates forwarded to the President by the Parliament. All candidates for the Supreme Elections Committee shall have to meet the conditions and requirements stipulated by this Law.
(b) Candidates for the Supreme Elections Committee shall have to secure the nomination of at least 2/3 of parliamentary members.
(a) The term of office for members of the Supreme Committee shall be six calendar years effective from the date of appointment.
(b) Nomination hearings by Parliament for the Supreme Elections Committee may start at least (30) days before the end of the term of office of the current Committee. Committee members may be renominated and reappointed for only one second term in office.
Article (21): Each Supreme Committee member must:
(a) Be at least (35) years old;
(b) Be of Yemeni parental origin;
(c) Hold a college degree or its equivalent and with relevant professional competence & experience;
(d) Be of good character and conduct;
(e) Have not been convicted by court for any election offense or any other crime in breach of ethics and professional conduct;
(f) Suspend political and/or party affiliation (if any) during his/her term in office.
(g) Refrain from accepting nominations for any general elections and/or partaking in election campaigns during his/her term in office as member of the Supreme Committee.
(a) Supreme Committee members shall have the rank of Cabinet Minister at least. Members not having this rank prior to their appointment shall automatically be entitled to such a rank from the date marking their appointment.
(b) Members of the Supreme Committee shall be entitled to all rights and benefits accorded to active Cabinet Ministers during their term in office.
(c) No member of the Supreme Committee shall be removed from office unless a Presidential Order is issued to that effect and only if such a committee member becomes ineligible in accordance with the provisions of Article (21) of this Law and in conformity with an irrevocable court order to this effect. In the event of death, resignation and/or dismissal of a committee member, a replacement may be appointed from the list of candidates endorsed by Parliament upon formation of the Supreme Elections Committee.
(d) Committee members shall elect a chairperson and a deputy chairperson from among themselves during their term in office.
Article (23): Before exercising their duties, members of the Supreme Committee shall take the following oath before the President of the Republic:
“I swear in the name of Almighty God that I shall remain faithful to the Holy Qur’an and to the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and that I shall up-hold faithfully the Republican system and respect the Constitution and the Country’s laws and orders; that I shall protect in full the people’s interests and liberties and that I shall work to preserve the unity, independence and territorial integrity of the whole country; that I shall execute my duties at the Supreme Committee with professional integrity, impartiality and honesty and without fear and bias. To this, may God be witness.”
Article (24): The Supreme Committee shall be in charge of organizing, administering, supervising and overseeing general elections and public referendum. In addition, the Committee shall be responsible for:
(a) Designating constituencies throughout the country. The designation of constituencies shall be governed by the principle of demographic equity and by other geographic and social considerations. The formation of constituencies shall be made public by means of a presidential order;
(b) Dividing constituencies into electoral and district centers which are demographically equal in view of the general census. In this regard, an error of estimate Ī.05 may be tolerated.
(c) Hiring employees to work for the General Secretariat and its branch offices in the Municipality of Sana’a and other Governorates throughout the country. Public announcements shall be made for vacant positions in accordance with conditions stipulated by the Supreme Committee;
(d) Naming heads and members of Supervisory, Main and Sub-committees which shall be entrusted with the task(s) of voter registration and the overall administration of elections. The jurisdiction(s) of these committees and the scope of their duties and functions in each constituency shall be determined by the Supreme Committee. Each committee shall be formed of (3) persons: a head and two members. The appointment of all committees shall be subject to endorsement by at least 2/3 of the members of the Supreme Committee. No committee shall be formed exclusively of one political party and/or organization;
(e) Developing appropriate criteria to govern the selection process for heads and members of various elections committees in compliance with the provisions of Article (26) of this Law & its Executive Order;
(f) Preparing the forms, registers, documents, Voter Registration Cards, ballot boxes and ballot slips. All ballot slips shall be properly stamped and shall bear the seal of the Supreme Committee. The Supreme Committee shall oversee the whole electoral process and shall distribute tasks and logistics to all committees according to the schedule of events;
(g) Laying down appropriate rules and regulations to guarantee the security measures required for a free and fair elections;
(h) Calling for supplementary and by-elections in compliance with Article (78) of the Constitution and Article (108) of this Law respectively.
(a) All branch offices shall remain under the direct supervision of the Supreme Committee. This applies also to Main, Subsidiary, Supervisory and Security Committees. All individuals (i.e. Governors, Heads of Directorates, security officials etc.) who may be entrusted with a duty in connection with the elections shall be guided by the instruction of the Supreme Committee. The said Committee shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the neutrality of all persons from the Local Executive Authority who may be called upon to assist in the administration of elections;
(b) Heads and members of Supervisory, Main and Sub-committees shall be directly accountable to the Supreme Committee. The Supreme Committee shall have power to fire any of the above on grounds of professional misconduct. Fired individuals shall be replaced from the pool of potential candidates of same political and/or party affiliation;
(c) All State-run mass media resources shall be under the control of the Supreme Committee and shall be governed by the Committees’ policy guidelines for elections and referendum.
Article (26): Heads and members of various election and referendum committees (i.e. main, subsidiary, supervisory and voter registration committees etc.) shall meet the criteria and conditions detailed below. Each committee member must in particular:
(a) Be a Yemeni;
(b) Be at least (21) years old and (25) years for heads of committees;
(c) Hold at least a college degree (this condition applies to heads and members of supervisory committees only). Heads and members of main & sub-committees shall be required to submit evidence of a school leave certificate;
(d) Be of good character and conduct and must have not been convicted by court for any election offense or any other crime in breach of ethics and professional conduct unless rehabilitated.
In any event, no person shall be appointed as member of any of the above cited committees in any constituency where there may be a family relationship up to the fourth degree between such a person and one of the candidates in the concerned constituency.
Article (27): The Supreme Committee shall appoint supervisory committees for each Governorate. Each of these committees shall have its seat in each Governorate’s capital and shall be responsible for overseeing the work of voter registration committees and other committees in charge of administering elections and referendum.
Article (28): The Supreme Committee shall take all appropriate measures (in designating polling stations) to allow for greater participation of voters in any general elections and/or referendum. To achieve this, accessibility to a polling station should be taken into account particularly in remote areas of rugged terrain.
Article (29): The Supreme Committee shall undertake full responsibility in overseeing the whole electoral process. To achieve this, the said Committee may send delegates to ensure that regulations and by-laws appertaining to the election process are being properly observed and that election centers and polling stations are adequately equipped and safe in accordance with the Law.
The Supreme Committee shall have the right to form other committees – as deemed necessary – to assist the said Committee in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities.
Article (30): The Supreme Committee shall provide the substance which is to be put on thumb of voters after casting their votes, provided that such substance remains indelible for at least (24) hours to thwart voters from casting their votes more than once during Election Day.
(a) The costs of the election and/or referendum shall be borne by the State. The Government shall put at the disposal of the Supreme Committee all the means and equipment to enable it to fully undertake its duties.
(b) The Supreme Committee shall have a special annual budget. The proposed budget shall be presented first to the Cabinet and endorsed by the Parliament. All financial allocations appertaining to the Supreme Committee shall be incorporated as one item into the State budget to be dispensed with under supervision of the said Committee.
(c) The Supreme Committee shall submit to the Cabinet on annual basis a proposed budget in accordance with established rules and regulations governing similar organizations enjoying administrative and financial independence.
(a) The Supreme Committee shall be financially and administratively independent. It shall exercise with complete integrity and neutrality all the duties, responsibilities and powers bestowed upon it in accordance with the provisions of this Law. All Supreme Committee’s decisions shall be made public. In all events, no outside party and/or body shall be allowed to interfere in the affairs and duties of the said Committee or to restrict its powers and jurisdictions.
(b) The Supreme Committee shall have its own administrative and executive organs at the Headquarter Offices located in capital cities of all Governorates. It shall also have a special cadre to be made public by a presidential order. The Supreme Committee shall be responsible for proposing by-laws and executive orders detailing its functions and organizational structures.
(c) The Supreme Committee shall have the executive powers and jurisdictions of the Ministry of Civil Services and the Ministry of Finance with reference to the administrative and financial affairs of its administrative and executive personnel.
Article (33) The Supreme Committee shall have under its jurisdictions a General Secretariat. This shall comprise the administrative and technical apparatus of the said Committee. The said secretariat shall be headed by a Secretary General to be appointed by power of a Presidential Order. S/he shall be selected from among three candidates seconded by the majority of members of the Supreme Committee.
(a) The Secretary General is the top executive in charge of the Secretariat and shall be directly accountable to the Supreme Committee;
(b) The Secretary General is the rapporteur of the Supreme Elections Committee;
(c) Applicable by-laws shall specify powers, duties and responsibilities of the Secretary General.
Article (35): The Secretary General shall be required to meet all the requirements applicable to civil servants. In addition, s/he must:
(a) Be at least a college graduate;
(b) Be at least (35) years old;
(c) Demonstrate professional experience in administrative and financial matters for at least (10) years.
Article (36): The Secretary General shall act as a care-taker upon resignation of the Supreme Committee and/or completion of its term in office. In instances as such, the Secretary General shall have administrative and financial powers to run the organization but shall be devoid of powers to hire, fire or promote any of the secretariat’s employees.
Election Campaigns: Rules & Regulations
Article (37): The Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum shall stipulate the rules and regulations governing the election campaigns in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article (38): The Supreme Committee shall take appropriate measures to increase the level of awareness among the public of the importance of the election process and the necessity for all eligible voters to partake in it. The said Committee shall also undertake to organize and publish electoral lists for all running candidates following the closing deadline for the submission of candidacy. All candidates shall be treated equally. The State-run media shall be banned from running or publishing any news bulletin about the elections and/or referendum without the Committee’s prior approval and supervision. The State-run media (at such times) shall remain at the disposal of the Supreme Committee. Running candidates shall not be allowed to use defamatory or slanderous means against each others or to resort to fraud and deception during election campaigns.
Article (39): The Supreme Committee shall regulate the use of the State-run media (i.e. radio, TV. and the press) by all running candidates on equal basis to enable them to present to the public their electoral programs. To this effect, the Supreme Committee shall undertake appropriate measures to ensure equal access to such media facilities. Political parties and organizations shall have the right to use state-run media (i.e. radio, TV. and the press) to present their platforms on equal footing and in accordance with rules and regulations stipulated by the Supreme Committee.
Article (40): Financing election campaigns from public funds or from the budgets of Ministries, public sector corporations, and/or foreign sources shall be prohibited by Law. The use of public institutions and facilities for election campaign purposes shall also be prohibited by Law.
Article (41): The locations for posting election campaign materials within each constituency shall be designated in accordance with applicable by-laws.
Article (42): Each election committee shall undertake to mark the designated areas cited above and to distribute space among running candidates in accordance with the order of candidacy filing. Local authorities shall be required to co-operate fully in executing all instructions issued by the Election Committee particularly with reference to the provisions of the required space and designated areas as specified above. In circumstances where local authorities may fail to co-operate, the Head of the Election Committee or his/her Deputy shall have executive powers to enforce the Law and to hold such authorities accountable in accordance with the Law.
Article (43): Candidates shall be allowed to use the designated areas referred to in Article (41) hereof until the end of the day preceding any general election. The designated areas may only be used to:
(a) Display not more than (2) electoral posters;
(b) Post not more than (2) public notices concerning electoral meetings. The notices should contain information about the date and place of these meetings and the names of registered speakers as well as the list(s) of running candidates.
Article (44): Candidates may not use, or allow the use of the space areas allocated to them for any purpose other than presenting themselves as running candidates and advancing their campaign cause and programs. Candidates may not recede the space areas allocated to them to a third party.
Article (45): On Election Day, running candidates may not distribute or cause someone to distribute brochure, leaflet programs, cards or any other similar material. In general, Government officials and local authorities may not be allowed to distribute election material (i.e. brochure, leaflets, cards) on behalf of running candidates on Election Day. Campaign material belonging to withdrawn candidates may not be posted and/or circulated on Election Day.
Article (46): Subject to the provisions of Article (47), mosques, prayer areas, colleges, schools, educational institutions, Government offices, barracks and public facilities – may not be used for election campaigns in whatsoever form and/or capacity.
Article (47): During election campaigns, candidates may organize electoral meetings and caucuses to present their platforms and programs to voters. The Supreme Committee may lay down rules and regulations to govern such meetings. In all events, mosques and prayer-congregation centers may not be used for such purposes. The Supervisory and Main Committees may, if deemed necessary, authorize in writing equal use of educational facilities by all candidates for such electoral gatherings.
Article (48): Loudspeakers may not be used for electoral campaign purposes except in meetings and caucuses held in conformity with the Law. Moreover, the use of consumer products for election campaign purposes may not be allowed. In general, all means of publicity which are not provided for in this Law or authorized by the Supreme Committee may not be used by candidates.
Article (49): Authorized forms of publicity for election campaign purposes may not be attacked either by effacement, removal or by any other means. Any such act shall construe an election offense.
Article (50): State-media coverage of the daily activities of the President of the Republic shall not be construed as electoral propaganda – if the President is also a running candidate for a second term in office.
Article (51): Subject to the provisions of Article (66) of this Law, the Supreme Committee shall regulate the use of the State-run media for all presidential candidates on equal footing as far as time and space are concerned.
Article (52): All parties, groups, organizations and/or individuals are strictly prohibited from resorting to any form of pressure and intimidation or leveling treason charges or accusations of heresy during election campaigns. The carrot and stick approach is also outlawed.
General Elections & Public Referenda: Rules & Procedures
Article (53): The Parliament shall be composed of (301) members to be elected by direct, free, equal and secret balloting. The country shall be divided into (301) constituencies which are demographically equal in view of the general census. In this regard, an error of estimate Ī.05 shall be tolerated. Each constituency shall elect one parliamentary member.
(a) The President of the Republic shall call upon all eligible voters to go to the polls to elect their parliamentary representatives at least (60) days before the standing Parliament concludes its term.
(b) The schedule of events for the general election shall be executed and adhered to in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article (55): Voting shall take place through direct, free, equal and secret balloting.
Article (56): Every eligible voter shall have the right to run for Parliament in the constituency dictated by his/her domicile address. A parliamentary candidate must be:
2. At least (25) years old;
4. Of good character and conduct and must be in observance of religious duties and responsibilities. S/he must have not been convicted by court for any crime in breach of ethics and professional conduct unless rehabilitated.
(a) To run for Parliament, candidates shall be required to fill out an application form specifically designed for such purposes. Application forms should be submitted to the Main Committee during office hours. Applications shall be received for ten days following the opening day. Candidates shall be required to fill out application form(s) in person to ensure that they meet the literacy requirement. This event shall be recorded and documented by the Main Committee.
(b) Each application shall contain the following information:
1. Candidates full name (up to the fourth);
2. Place and date of birth;
3. Educational level;
4. Political affiliation (if any);
5. Professional affiliation (if employed);
6. The constituency and electoral center where the candidate is registered as well as the candidate’s address;
7. The candidate’s logo or the logo of his/her political party and/or organization;
8. Date of resignation from public office where clause (e) and (f) of Article (60) of this Law are applicable.
(c) Applications filed by parliamentary candidates shall be kept in a special register against receipt subject to verification of the information and particulars appertaining to each candidate. Candidates shall be entitled to examine the said register and file. A list of all candidates within each constituency shall be issued and made public in places and designated areas from the day following the deadline for applications to be filed.
(d) Every political party and/or organization (in consultation with the Supreme Committee) shall have the right to opt for one single logo to represent party candidates in all constituencies. Use of similar and/or duplicate logos by more than one political party and/or organization may not be allowed.
(e) The Supreme Committee shall design logos for independent candidates to choose from. Designation of such logos shall be made on first-come-first served basis and on fulfillment of the conditions provided for in this Law.
(a) Candidates representing a political party and/or organization shall have to secure official endorsement of their candidacy either from the Head or the Secretary General of the party or organization or their designated deputies.
(b) Independent candidates shall be required to secure the commendation of at least (300) voters representing the majority of electoral centers within the constituency where they intend to run. Each commending voter must:
1. Be duly listed in voter registers within the constituency in focus;
2. Not exercise this right in commending more than one candidate.
(c) Every running candidate shall be required to pay
(YR 5,000) as campaign fee. A receipt to this effect shall be given to each candidate. The proceeds of this shall go to relevant local councils in all major cities. Applications for candidacy may not be processed unless applicable fees are duly paid. Local councils shall be required to remove electoral materials and posters upon completion of any general elections.
(d) In the event that a political party and/or organization withdraws the nomination of one of its candidates, the said candidate shall have the right to run as an independent candidate if s/he wishes to do so. In instances as such, the said candidate shall be exempt from candidacy formalities stipulated in this Law.
Article (59): No candidate shall be allowed to run in more than one constituency. If proven otherwise, the candidate’s nominations shall be deemed null and void in all constituencies.
(a) With due consideration of Provisions (e) and (f) of this Article, any public official who runs for Parliament shall be deemed as having resigned from the public service as of the date his/her candidacy has been filed and shall be reinstated and compensated (for job related losses during the said period) if failing to succeed in getting elected. Job entitlements of public officials elected to Parliament shall remain intact while serving in Parliament. Upon completion of their term in Parliament, public officials shall have the right to be reinstated in office or offered an alternative post equivalent to the previous one.
(b) Any local council member wishing to run for Parliament shall have to resign from the Local Council. In such cases, former local council members may not be reinstated unless duly re-elected.
(c) Parliament members may not be allowed to assume any public office function(s) or to become local council members.
(d) Parliament members may be allowed to combine only parliamentary membership with Cabinet membership.
(e) The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Directors of State Agencies and/or Public Corporations may not be allowed to run for Parliament unless they have relinquished their official titles at least (3) months before nomination is filed.
(f) Governors and their deputies, judges, directorates’ executive officers, local directors of ministerial offices at the Governorate level , executive managers of public corporations, chief security officers, military commanders, local council officials or any public officer – may not be allowed to run for Parliament within the administrative units of the constituencies where they work and exercise power and leverage unless they have relinquished their official titles at least (3) months before nomination is filed.
(g) The (3) months period stipulated in clause (e) and (f) of this Article may be reduced to only one month in by-elections or in General Elections if called in short notice.
(a) Candidates may withdraw their applications to run for Parliament at least (20) days prior to Election Day. To this effect, a written request may have to be submitted to the Main Committee where the original application was lodged.
(b) Request for withdrawal shall be recorded next to the name and logo of the withdrawing candidate and shall be publicly announced through State-run media sources and in the constituency concerned. The same announcement shall be made on Election Day by the Main Committee at electoral centers throughout the constituency under consideration.
(c) In the event that a candidate dies or withdraws from the race before Election Day but past the deadline for withdrawal and in the event that only one candidate remains as a result of this act, the Supreme Committee shall announce extension of the deadline for application filing in the said constituency in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article (62): If only one person remains as a running candidate in a constituency, the Supreme Committee shall be immediately informed. Consequently, the Supreme Committee shall announce re-extension of the deadline for filing applications for (5) more days. Appropriate measures shall also be taken to ensure that the procedures taken with regard to this matter are valid and sound. If no new applications are filed, election shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Part Five: Section Two
(a) The President of the Republic shall be elected by means of direct, free and competitive elections. Preparations for presidential elections shall start at least (90) days prior to the end of the President’s term in office.
(b) The Parliament Presidium shall announce the opening date for candidates to file their applications for the Office of the President at least (90) days prior to the end of the standing President’s term in office and in accordance with the Constitution.
(c) The Parliament Presidium shall receive all applications for the Office of the President. This process shall take (7) days starting from the first day of the period referred to in Clause (a) of this Article.
(d) Applications for the Office of the President shall be submitted to the Speaker of Parliament during the period referred to in the above Clause. Applicants shall be required to fill out application forms in person and submit same during official business hours. If an applicant is nominated by a political party and/or organization, s/he shall be required to submit evidence to this effect. Each applicant shall be given an official receipt of all documents lodged with the Speaker of Parliament.
(e) Applications shall be screened jointly by the Presidiums of the Parliament and the Consultative Council – to ensure that presidential candidates meet constitutional requirements.
(f) The Presidiums of the Parliament and the Consultative Council shall complete the screening process of applicants in a period not to exceed (3) days following the closing deadline for applications to be filed. Names of successful applicants shall be announced within one day following completion of the screening process.
(a) Every eligible voter shall have the right to protest against the nomination of any presidential candidate if such nomination is in violation of the provisions of Article (107) of the Constitution. Candidates whose applications are rejected, shall have the right to submit grievance to this effect within (3) days following the announcement of presidential candidates. Protests and grievances may be submitted to the joint Presidiums of the Parliament and the Consultative Council.
(b) The joint Presidiums shall review all contests and grievances and shall decide on them immediately one day following the closing deadline for such complaints.
(c) Decisions taken by the joint Presidiums may be disputed at the Supreme Court with constitutional jurisdiction. The Court shall decide on these cases within (5) days following the joint Presidiums’ rulings.
(a) Presidential candidates shall have the right to withdraw from the race. In such cases, a written statement should be forwarded to the Speaker of Parliament before names of presidential candidates are presented to the joint session of the Parliament and the Consultative Council.
(b) After careful reviewing of applicants, the Presidiums shall present to the joint session the names of candidates who have met the constitutional requirement for secondment by the two Houses. This shall take place within (3) days following the contest and appeal period.
(c) The joint session of the two Houses is bound to recommend at least (3) candidates for the Office of the President of the Republic before submitting the candidates to the people in competitive elections.
(d) Presidential Elections may not be held with less than (2) running candidates.
Article (66): A candidate who secures the support of at least (5%) of the joint session – shall officially be considered a candidate for the Post of the President. This process shall take place via secret balloting. Each member of the two Houses may not be allowed to second the nomination of more than one candidate from the list of nominees submitted by the joint Presidiums.
Article (67): The Parliament Presidium shall be required to provide the Supreme Committee with a list of presidential candidates together with all relevant documentation within (48) hours following secondment by the joint session.
Article (68): The President of the Republic shall issue an order calling on electorate to go to the polls on Elections Day to elect a president. This takes place only upon completion of all formalities referred to in the articles cited above.
Article (69): The Supreme Committee shall undertake all necessary measures in preparation for presidential elections all in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article (70): The person securing an absolute majority of valid votes in presidential elections shall be deemed the President of the Republic. If none of the candidates manage to secure this majority, complementary elections shall be called upon according to the above procedures for the two candidates with the highest number of valid votes. This shall take place within (40) days following announcement of Election results.
Article (71): Campaign costs for presidential candidates shall be borne by the State. To this effect, an equal lump sum shall be granted to each candidate upon recommendation of the Parliament Presidium and approval of the House. The provisions of Article (40) of this Law may not apply under such circumstances.
Article (72): Every presidential candidate shall be required to hold at least one electoral rally at the center of each Governorate including Sana’a City Municipality to represent his/her political and/or party platform to electorate.
Article (73): Presidential candidates may – during the very last week preceding election – hold debates and discussions on issues at stake to be broadcast Live by the State-run media.
Article (74): Each presidential candidate shall have the right to organize meetings and press conferences to present his/her electoral program to the general electorate.
Article (75): Each presidential candidate shall have the right to accept contribution and/or donations from Yemeni individuals or body corporates on condition that such contributions are credited to a bank account. Bank statements to this effect should be forwarded on order of arrival to the Supreme Committee. Acceptance of financial donations from foreign sources shall be strictly prohibited.
Article (76): The provisions of Article (60) of this Law may not be applicable to presidential candidates.
Article (77): The Supreme Committee shall issue the winning candidate a certificate confirming the candidate’s status as the winner in the presidential elections.
Part Five: Section Three
Local Council Elections
Article (78): Subject to the provisions of the Local Authority Law, elections for Local Councils shall be direct, free and via ballot-boxes. They shall be executed in compliance with this Law and all other applicable laws and regulations.
Article (79): The President of the Republic shall call on electorate to go to the polls to elect their local council representatives at least (60) days prior to Election Day.
Article (80): Every eligible voter shall have the right to run for a local council office within the constituency as dictated by his/her domicile address. No one shall be allowed to run in more than one constituency. In cases as such, candidates’ nominations in all constituencies shall be deemed void and null.
Article (81): Candidates shall be required to submit during regular office hours their applications to the Main Committee within (10) days following the opening date for applications to be filed.
Article (82): In filling out application forms, each candidate shall be required to provide the information specified in Article (57.b) except Item No. (8).
Article (83): Each local council candidate shall have to pay against receipt the total sum of YR 5,000 if running for a local council office in any major city. This amount shall be used for clean-up purposes. Candidates running for a Local Council Office at the directorate level shall be required to pay against receipt the same amount cited above. This amount shall be credited to the account of the Local Council where the domicile address of the candidate lies. All proceeds shall be used to clean-up residual posters following local council’s elections. Receipt for payment shall be required before an application for a local council office is processed.
Article (84): The Supreme Committee shall designate a special committee to receive and screen out application forms before deciding on the eligibility of each candidate to run for a local council office. The names of eligible candidates shall be forwarded to the Supreme Committee which shall undertake to make the necessary announcement(s).
Part Five: Section Four
Public Referendum’s Rules and Procedures
Article (85): Any public referendum shall be called upon by the President of the Republic within the time limit provided for in the Constitution.
Article (86): Upon receipt of the President’s call for a public referendum, the Supreme Committee shall undertake to arrange for the referendum in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Article (87): If constitutional amendments of an article or more are endorsed by Parliament and if ratification of such amendments requires a public referendum, the Supreme Committee shall be informed accordingly and shall thereby undertake all measures in preparation for a public referendum over the constitutional amendments endorsed by Parliament.
Article (88): Standing constituencies and voter registers shall be deemed good for public referendum purposes.
Article (89): Voter rights and duties detailed in this Law shall be applicable to all participants in any public referendum.
Article (90): Subject to the provisions provided for in this Section, general elections laws and regulations shall prevail in any public referendum.
Article (91): The Supreme Committee shall undertake all measures to increase public awareness of the importance attached to referendum through the State-run media resources.
Article (92): With the exception of the provisions of Article (132.1) and Article (133.3) of this Law, offenses against any public referendum shall be dealt with as offenses against general elections. All relevant penalties provided for in this Law shall be applicable.
Article (93): The results of any public referendum shall not be valid and binding unless the issues put for a public referendum secure the support of the absolute majority of popular votes.
General Elections: Rules & Regulations
(a) The election process shall be administered in each constituency by one main committee to be assisted by a number of sub-committees.
(b) Each candidate shall submit to the Election Committee the name of his/her delegate at least (48) hours before election day. If a candidate fails to inform the Committee of the name of his/her delegate or if the said delegate fails to show-up on Election Day, the Committee shall be required to secure a replacement and to document this episode in the proceedings of Election Day.
(c) In the absence of a Committee Head and in the event that no deputy has been officially designated, the eldest committee member shall take over until a substitute is announced.
Article (95): Each election committee shall designate from among its members a rapporteur to record minutes on Election Day. These minutes shall be signed by the head and members of each committee and by candidates or their delegates. The minutes shall also be stamped by the numbered seal allotted to each committee by the Supreme Committee.
Article (96): The committee’s head shall be responsible for maintaining law and order and for securing an office space for the committee. If need arises, s/he shall have the right to ask for assistance of law enforcement agencies. Military and security officials shall have no right to enter polling stations unless duly authorized to do so by the head of the committee or have actually been exercising their right to vote. The committee may ask any person to leave the polling station if that person causes disruption to the order of the electoral process.
Article (97): Candidates may enter polling stations and may designate in writing a registered voter to act as their representative on Election Day and during vote counting. No person other than registered voters, candidates or their representatives may be allowed into polling stations. None shall be allowed to carry fire arms whether visible or concealed. In general, carrying arms within the vicinity of any polling station by any person shall be strictly prohibited.
Article (98): General elections shall be held in all parts of the country on the same day.
Article (99): Upon entry into polling stations, each voter shall be required to submit to the head of the election committee his/her voter registration card. The Head or any other committee member shall verify that the voter’s name is duly entered in the Voter’s Register and shall take note of this against the voter’s name in the same register.
(a) Each ballot slip shall feature clearly the logos of all candidates in presidential, parliamentary and local council elections. Candidates’ logos shall be listed in order of priority based on the date in which each application has been filed.
(b) The head of each election committee shall hand over a ballot slip to each eligible voter who shall express his/her opinion secretly in a specially designated booth placed in each polling station. Each voter shall then cast the ballot slip in the appropriate box in the presence of the head and members of the committee as well as the candidates and/or their representatives. None of the above however shall have the right to access the content of the ballot slip. Blind and physically handicapped voters shall have the right to request the assistance of a confidant from among registered voters in order to exercise in full their right to vote.
(c) After each voter cast his/her vote, the committee shall take note of this next to the voter’s name and shall affix the appropriate stamp upon the voter’s thump.
Article (101): Election Day shall start at 8:00 a.m. at which time all ballot boxes shall be examined to ensure that they have not been tampered with. This takes place in the presence of voters and candidates or their representatives. The exact number of blank ballot slips submitted by the Supreme Committee to the election committee in each constituency shall be counted and recorded in minutes to be signed by the head of the said committee, the other two committee members and the candidates or their representatives. Balloting shall continue until 6:00 p.m. The committee head shall announce the end of balloting after the last casting of vote. Voting shall, however, continue after 6:00 p.m. if there are still voters in polling stations. At 8:00 p.m., the committee head shall announce closure of all polling stations.
Article (102): At the end of the election process, each committee shall be required to wax-seal the slots of ballot boxes in the presence of candidates or their delegates. Minutes shall be recorded confirming the time when the sealing was affected, the number of persons which have voted, the exact number of absentees, the exact number of blank ballot slips submitted by the Supreme Committee, the number of ballot slips being actually used and the number of unused ballot slips. The minutes shall be stamped and signed by the head and members of the committee and by the candidates or their representatives. Unused ballot slips shall be wax-sealed in a special envelope.
Article (103): Following the signing of the minutes confirming the end of vote casting, ballot boxes shall be transferred to the seat of the First Sub-committee where vote-counting shall take place in the presence of the Head of the Committee, two committee members and the candidates or their delegates. Vote-counting shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures detailed below:
(a) Ballot boxes shall be examined by the First Sub-committee to ensure that they are intact. This shall be recorded in minutes confirming the time, place, names and titles of persons who are present when vote-counting takes place. The minutes shall be signed by the head and members of the said committee and by candidates or their representatives.
(b) Ballot slips in each box shall be counted. Tables shall be made and recorded indicating the exact number of total votes, names of candidates, the exact number of votes secured by each candidate and the exact number of void ballots. Once a ballot slip is counted and recorded, it shall be marked as such by the head of the committee.
(c) The First Sub-committee shall have the right to decide on all matters appertaining to the validity of ballot slips subject to the provisions provided for in Part (6) of this Law.
(d) Ballot slips shall be deemed void if votes are:
1. Given on conditional bases;
2. Given to candidates in excess of the number required by Law;
3. Recorded on a piece of paper other than the ballot slip.
In all events, ballot slips clearly expressing the opinion of voters shall be deemed valid.
(e) Each Sub-committee shall undertake cross-checks to ensure that all figures appertaining to valid and void ballots do commensurate with same figures provided for in Article (102) of this Law. The same procedure shall be applied to ensure that there are no discrepancies between the actual number of used and unused ballot slips at the end of voting. Final vote counting results shall be recorded. Minutes confirming all these figures shall be drawn and duly signed by the Head and members of the said committee and by candidates or their representatives. The minutes shall also indicate the exact time when vote counting was completed. The minutes shall be wax-sealed in a special envelope and delivered to the committee head after being stamped and duly signed by all concerned individuals.
(f) Vote counting shall continue unabated. Candidates or their representatives may not be allowed to leave vote counting centers without permission to be obtained from the First Sub-committee. If permission granted, each candidate shall designate in writing a deputy to oversee the counting process during his/her absence. If a candidate decides to leave without permission and before designating a deputy, the Committee cited above may designate any person to guard the interest of the said candidate. Minutes to this effect shall be drawn and signed by the said Committee. Vote counting shall continue in the presence of the designated person who shall sign up all minutes on behalf of the said candidate. Refusal of candidates, their deputies and/or their designates to sign-up the minutes appertaining to vote counting shall in no way affect the announcement of results. Minutes shall however be drawn to document such reservations.
(a) Upon completion of vote counting in accordance with the provisions of the above-cited Article, The Head of the First Sub-committee shall tally-up the vote-counting results of all polling stations within the said district in the presence of candidates or their representatives. Valid votes secured by each candidate shall be counted. Aggregate tables for each candidate shall be drawn and a summary statement to this effect shall be made. The statement shall be signed by all and stamped by the seal of the First Sub-committee. Results shall be announced confirming the total number of valid votes secured by each candidate. Each candidate shall have the right to request a copy of the vote-counting results.
(b) The Head of the First Sub-committee together with heads of subsidiary committees shall undertake to transfer and submit the summary statement together with other relevant documents to the seat of the Main Committee.
(a) The Main Committee within each constituency shall receive and process vote-counting results on first-come-first served bases. A summary statement of aggregated results shall be made and duly signed by the Head of the Main Committee, the Head of the First Sub-co