PARTIES AND POLITICAL
LAW NO.(66) OF 1991
NAMES AND DEFINITIONS:
This law is called "The Law governing Parties
and Political Organizations".
The words and expressions used herein are
defined as follows, unless explicitly specified otherwise:
Republic of Yemen
The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen.
-Party or Political Organization: -
Any group of Yemenis, organized according to common principles and
objectives based on constitutional legitimacy, who exercise political and
democratic activities with the aim of achieving the transfer of power, or
sharing thereof using peaceful means.
The Committee for Parties and Political Organizations established
according to this law.
AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES:
According to Article (39) of the Constitution
of the Republic of Yemen, general liberties including political pluralism
and party system based on constitutional legitimacy are considered a right
and a pillar of the political and social system of the Republic of Yemen.
This right may not be cancelled, limited or restrained, and no measure may
be taken to hinder the freedom of citizens to exercise it. At the same
time, no party, or, political organization may misuse this right in
contradiction with the national interests and in preserving sovereignty,
security, stability, and national solidarity.
This law aims to define the principles and
procedures in the establishment and activities of parties and political
All Yemenis are entitled to form parties and
political organizations, and they have the right to a voluntary
affiliation to any party, or, political organization according to
constitutional legitimacy and the principles of this law.
The party, or, political organization operates
in peaceful and democratic means in order to execute clearly defined and
declared programs in the political, economic, social and cultural affairs
of the Republic, through participation in the political and democratic
life to ensure the peaceful transfer of power or sharing thereof through
free and honest general elections.
The parties and political organizations
contribute towards the achievement of political, social, economic, and
cultural progress, and towards consolidation of national unity through
democratic practices in accordance with the Constitution and given that
the parties are national, popular, and democratic political organizations
which work to organize the citizens and to represent them politically.
For the establishment or the continuation of
the activities of any party or political organization, the following are
to be observed:
that its principles, objectives, program, and means do not contradict;
Islamic precepts and values;
The sovereignty, integrity, and unity of the country and the people.
The Republican system, and the objectives and principles of the
September and October Revolutions, and Republic's Constitution.
The national solidarity of the Yemeni society.
The basic freedoms and duties, and the international declarations on
The Yemeni society's affiliation to the Arab and Muslim nation.
That when applying for the establishment of a party, or, political
organization, the programs and policies on which it depends to achieve its
objectives in the political, economic, social and cultural fields, do not
replicate those of other (existing) parties and political organizations.
That the applying party or, political organization has an internal system
of regulations, by-laws, and political program approved by its members.
That the party, or, political organization is not based on regional,
tribal, sectarian, class, professional, or any other form of
discrimination among citizens on the basis of their sex, racial origin, or
That the party may not be based on concepts contrary to Islamic law, and
may not base its activities on excommunication of the other parties or
members of society, or to proclaim to be singularly representing the true
Islam, or patriotism, or nationalism, or the Revolution.
The parties or political organizations are not allowed to:
i- to establish military or par-military forces,
or to assist in establishing them;
ii-to use violence in any form, or threats, or
iii-to include in their literature, or, programs
anything that instigates violence or the establishment of military, or
par-military structures, openly or in secret.
The party or, political organization may not be affiliated to a political
system in a foreign country. Yemeni parties, may however, establish
ties-on equal footing-with any non-Yemeni party, or, political
organization, in a manner that is not contrary to Yemen's supreme national
interests, the Constitution and the laws in force.
The party or, political organization must declare openly its principles,
objectives, methods, political structure or form, and leadership.
The party must stand on a national forum and may not limit membership to
any geographic region.
The internal regulations, standing orders, and
political programs of the party, or, political organization must include
the foundations governing all its political, organizational, financial and
administrative affairs that may not contradict the provisions of this law.
In particular, they must include:
The full name of the party, or, political organization which may not
replicate any other existing party or political organization.
The address of the head office of party, or, political organization, and
the branches, if any. All offices and branches must be located within
the Republic of Yemen, and they may not be located in mosques,
industrial and other work premises, military, educational, judicial
sites or any other locations of public service. The headquarter of the
party must be in Sana'a.
The principles and objectives of the party, or, political organization
and the means and programs it will employ to achieve them.
The membership conditions, the procedures for application, admission,
withdrawal and expulsion. Conditions thereof must not be tailored with
the intent of discrimination on the basis of sex, color, racial origin,
language, profession, or social status.
The procedures for establishing of units within the party, and the
rising within the ranks of the party, and the duties and political and
financial responsibilities of the party cadres, posts and units, and the
way of executing activities thereof. All procedures and steps within the
party must allow for the execution of democratic rights to all members.
The financial structure of the party specifying its resources, the banks
with which the party deals, and the procedures governing withdrawal of
funds; besides information regarding book-keeping systems, auditing
standard and the procedures for budget preparation and approval.
The laws and procedures governing the party's merger with another party,
its annulment, and how its assets are to be disposed of.
Any member of a party, or, political
organization must meet the following conditions:
Must be a Yemeni national. If he/she is a naturalized Yemeni, then the
time requirement stipulated in the nationality law must apply.
Must be at least 18 years old.
Must be able to enjoy full political rights. Such rights can only be
violated by a court decision.
Must not belong to the judiciary, police or military forces, or assigned
to the diplomatic missions outside Yemen.
With due regard to items (c and d) of Article
(10), the following conditions must apply to any person who will
participate in establishing a party, or, political organization:
Must be born of a Yemeni father,
Must be at least 24 years of age,
A court decision against him/her must not have been issued depriving
him/her of political activity, or convicting him of a crime that touches
his/her integrity or decency, unless he/she is rehabilitated.
The president of the party,or, political
organizarepresents the party in front of the judicial system or any other
party. The president of the party may, according to the regulations of the
party, authorize any of the party's leading members to represent it in
ESTABLISING A PARTY
A committee called "Committee for the Affairs
of Parties and Political Organizations" is to be formed as follows:
- The Minister of State for Parliamentary
Affairs as Chairman,
- The Minister of Interior as member,
- The Minister of Justice as member,
- Four persons as members provided they are not
members of any party, or, political organization, and they must be
nominated from among non-functioning judges or from among lawyers
accredited to the Supreme Judicial Council. The four persons, in concern
whom a Republican Decree is to be issued, have to satisfy the following
They have to enjoy personal integrity, impartiality and independence;
They must adhere to the principle of democracy and multi-party political
The have to swear constitutional oath in front of the Presidential
Council that they will adhere to the conditions above during their term
in the Committee, which is responsible for receiving, screening and
ensuring that applications to establish parties and political
organizations satisfy the requirements of this law and any other
To establish any party, or, political
organization, the following steps have to be followed:
A written request is to be submitted to the Chairman of the Committee.
This request has to be signed by at least seventy-five founding members,
whose signatures are to be notarized by a primary court of law.
At the time when an application is submitted, the party, or, political
organization must have at least 2500 members from most of the provinces
including Sana'a city.
The application must include a complete set of documents, notably the
political program, the by-laws, a statement on the resources, the assets
and their sources, the party's banker, and the name of the person
authorized on behalf of the party or political organization to complete
the establishment procedures.
The committee chairman has to present the application to the committee
within (15) days thereof.
The committee, once satisfied that all the conditions are met, has to
publish a statement, for seven days, on one of the daily papers,
announcing that an application was deposited with it. Such a statement
must include the name of the party or the political organization and the
names, titles, professions, and dates of birth of the founding members.
Such as statement has to be published within a maximum of one month of
the application date. If the committee fails to publish the statement,
then this fact has no (delaying) consequence on the establishment of the
party. Any person who has any objection to whatever is published in the
statement may approach the committee within (15) days of the date of
The committee may, within (45) days of the application; whether before
or after the publication of the statement; may decide to object to the
establishment of the party. Such a decision must give detailed
justification. If the committee does not object to the establishment of
the party within (45) days, then the party's establishment is considered
With due regard to the final item in article
(14) above, the Chairman of the committee shall convey; by registered
correspondence and within a maximum of one week of the committee's
objection decision; to the applicants of the party to be founded the
decision and the justifications thereof. The Chairman shall also allow the
founders of the party a 30-days period from the date of their receipt of
the committee's objection decision, during which they can complete other
requirements, or, respond to the objections of the committee.
In case the differences are not resolved, the
case may be referred to the relevant court by the committee or through a
lawsuit filed on behalf of the founding members of the party. Such a case
is to be treated as an urgent matter by the courts, and all parties are
entitled to petition the court decision according to the law.
The party or political organization enjoys all
legal rights and performs its political activities from the day following
the 45 day period stipulated under article (14), unless the committee has
objected to the establishment. In case the committee had objected, the
party or political organization may start its activities from the date of
the issuance of a court order nullifying the committee's objection. All
documents pertaining to the establishment of the party are to be published
in the Official Gazette.
RESOURCES ADN FINANCIAL
PROVISIONS OF FUNDS
The resources of the party shall include:
Subscriptions and contributions of members,
The subsidies allocated by the government,
Return of the party's investments in fields other than commercial
activities. Party investments in issuing newspapers and magazines and
publishing houses are not considered commercial, as they aim to serve
the objectives of the party,
Gifts and donations.
The party, or, political organization may not
accept from non-Yemeni individuals of parties (even if they acquired
Yemeni nationality) any gifts, merits, or services. The party or,
political organization must put on verifiable accounting records the name
of the donor/s and amount/s donated. The relevant authorities must be
informed of any contribution that exceeds YR. 100,000 in one donation, or
if the total annual donations, of one person or party exceed YR.200, 000.
The donations given to parties, or, political organizations may not be
deducted be for income tax purposes.
The Committee for the Affairs of Parties and
Political Organizations shall propose to the Council of Ministers annually
the total amount of support, or, subsidy which the state will allocate for
the parties and political organizations in accordance with the provisions
of this law. This amount, once approved, is then included annually in the
The total amount of government subsidy to the
parties, or, political organizations is divided as follows:
25% of the total in equal installments to all parties represented in the
House of Representatives.
75% of the total is pledged in proportion to the votes the candidates of
the parties and political organizations obtained in the race for the
seats of the House of Representatives. The party or, political
organization is not entitled to a share in this amount if the total
number of votes its candidates obtained was less than 5% of the total
During the transitional period, the President
Council shall decide the way the subsidy will be distributed on the basis
of a proposal by a committee formed from among the parties and to be
presented through the Committee for the Affairs of Parties and Political
In any case, the total amount of subsidy from
the state may not exceed the total amount of subscriptions and dues paid
by the members to the party. In case the subsidy amount entitled to a
party exceeds the total of its subscription, the excess amount is
transferred to the government treasury.
The amount of state subsidy to the parties and
political organizations is payable on the first (working) day of January
every year. If the new budget is not yet approved, then an estimated
amount is temporarily paid out on the basis of the last year's figure,
until the new budget is approved.
State subsidy to a party or political
organization shall be terminated if:
A court order is issued terminating the activities of the party
according to article (34) of this law.
The party doe not submit, to the relevant authorities; a copy of its
annual report and final accounts regarding the revenues and
The party receives donations, gifts or services in contradiction to
Article (17) of this law, and on the basis of a court order.
The party does not adhere to the proviof Article (24), and on the basis
a court order.
The party voluntarily decides cease to exist.
State subsidy shall be stopped if:
The party, or political organization, ceases to exist by its own
The party, or political organization, ceases to exist by a court order
according to Article (34).
Party resources may not be dispensed except in
the service of its objectives and according to the procedures stipulated
in its by-laws. The party is required to keep books in accordance with
proper accounting principles showing the revenues and expenditures. The
party must present its annual report including the final accounts to the
The Committee for Parties and Political
Organizations, once having approved the annual report of the accounts, has
the right to actually inspect the books and review the expenditures and
revenues to determine their legality. The committee may assign a
specialized team to do this job, provided a copy of the team's report is
given to the party or, political organization, and provided complete
secrecy is guaranteed except if a violation is discovered, in which case
the matter is reverted to the judicial authorities according to the law.
The party or political organization has to
register with the Committee all its assets (properties).
The assets (property) of the party or political
organization, for the purposes of application of the penal code, are
treated as government property, and those in charge of dealing with such
property as government officials.
RIGHTS ADN DUTIES
The offices and the non-investment properties
of the parties or, political organizations are exempted from all taxes and
The offices of the parties and political
organizations and their documents, correspondence, communications may not
be subject to surveillance, search, or forceful seizure except in cases of
flagrante delicto in which case, such action may be carried out in the
presence of the relevant Chief of Prosecution, and a representative of the
party. If the party representative refuses to attend, such a refusal is
documented in the minutes and the investigation proceeds in the presence
of two witnesses. In case these rights/ procedures are violated, the
investigation and all its consequences are rendered nullified. The General
Prosecution Office has to inform the Committee of any steps taken in this
regard within forty-eight hours.
The party, or political organization, has the
right to issue any number of newspapers to express its viewpoints without
having to obtain the permit stipulated in the Press Law. The party may
also use any other means to express its opinions according to the
Constitution and the laws in force.
The government media has a duty to enable all
parties and political organizations to equally use them to carry their
viewpoints to the citizens. The by-laws shall regulate such access.
All parties and political organizations have to
observe the following in executing their activities:
Not to contradict Islam.
Not to endorse any of the former regimes of the Imam or the Sultans. Any
actions contrary to the objectives of the Revolution, the Republic,
Unity and Democracy are forbidden.
Not to disrupt the general order and security, or to be involved in
plots or violence or to motivate others in them.
Not to use the government posts of service or public funds for party
gains. The laws in force shall punish such violations.
Not to carry out membership drives in contradiction of item (4) of
Article (10) of this law.
Not to use mosques, or the educational and governmental facilities to
promote, or criticize any party, or, political organization.
It is permissible to use public grounds and sites for political
activities in condition of a prior coordination with the relevant
Except by its voluntary consent, or by merger,
it is not permitted to dissolve a party or stop its activities or
decisions, unless according to a court decision based on their request
with justification submitted to the courts by the Committee. The decision
also determines to whom the assets of the party are then turned over. Such
a step is taken if:
Any of the conditions for its establishment, according to Article (8) is
no longer applicable.
The party, or political organization, commits any of the forbidden
activities stipulated in Article (33). The Chairman of the Committee;
after the approval of the Committee; may deposit an urgent request with
the relevant court to stop the activities of the party or any of its
decisions, until a final court decision is taken regarding the
dissolution of the party. A copy of such request, with the full
justifications, is forwarded to the President of the party with 48 hours
of their deposit. The court must decide on the request of the Committee
within fifteen days, and the final decision must be taken within ninety
The party, or political organization, is
considered defunct if:
The party dissolves itself.
A final court order is issued dissolving it.
Two or more parties are merged together.
The party joins an existing party.
Under item (c) and (d) above, the new entity inherits all rights and
duties of the dissolved party.
The Committee may issue a warning to any party,
or, political organization in case of violations, which may be transferred
to the General Prosecutor to take the appropriate measures.
A person may not belong to more than one party.
Existing parties are to adjust their status
according to this law not later than 30/12/1991, based on by-laws to be
issued by the Presidential Council, especially regarding article (4) and
The Presidential Council shall issue the by-law
for this law.
This law runs in force upon its issuance as
Signed: Lieutenant-General Ali Abdullah Saleh,
President of the Yemen