Yemen’s parliament enacted sweeping emergency laws Wednesday after the country’s embattled president asked for new powers of arrest, detention and censorship to quash a popular uprising demanding his ouster.
The move escalates the showdown between U.S.-backed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and the movement that has unified military commanders, religious leaders and protesting youth in demands for his immediate departure.
The law suspends the constitution, allows media censorship, bars street protests and gives security forces 30 days of far-reaching powers to arrest and detain suspects without judicial process.
Its adoption was a virtual certainty because Mr. Saleh’s ruling party dominates the 301-seat legislature. Opposition and independent legislators stayed away from Wednesday’s parliamentary session along with dozens of lawmakers from Mr. Saleh’s own ruling party. Parliament said more than 160 lawmakers were present Wednesday.
There was no breakdown available of the vote, which was done by a show of hands amid chaotic scenes.
I’d like to propose a change to the header of this news article. From “Yemen” to “Saleh’s BFFs”.