Politics, Middle East

Who are the 8 members of Yemen's new presidential council?

Yemeni president transfers powers to 8-member council after removing vice president

Yassine Aydi  | 08.04.2022 - Update : 08.04.2022
Who are the 8 members of Yemen's new presidential council?


Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued an order early Thursday dismissing Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and delegating his powers to a newly formed presidential council to lead the country through a transitional period.

According to Yemen’s official news agency Saba, Rashad Al-Alimi will head the eight-member council.

The other members of the leadership council are Sultan Ali Al-Arada, Tariq Mohammed Saleh, Abdulrahman Abu Zara’a, Abdullah Bawazeer, Othman Hussein Megally, Aidarous Qassem Al-Zubaidi and Faraj Salmin Al-Bahsani.

A number of Arab states have welcomed the announcement.

The following are brief profiles of the presidential council members.

Rashad Al-Alimi

Born in Yemen’s southwest province of Taiz in 1954, Al-Alimi received his bachelor’s degree in Military Sciences from the Kuwait Police College in 1975 and another university degree in Arts from Sana’a University in 1977.

He also holds a master's and doctorate degree in sociology both from Egypt’s Ain Shams University, which he earned in 1984 and 1988 respectively.

Al-Alimi previously served as an adviser to the president of the republic. He also headed the Supreme Security Committee and served as Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Affairs and Minister of Interior.

Abdullah Bawazeer

Bawazeer was born in Shabwa governorate in south-central Yemen in 1979. He completed his university education in general medicine at the University of Aden, where he is currently a faculty member.

He also obtained a bachelor's degree in Sharia and Law from the Yemeni University of Science and Technology and a master's in Management from the University of Malaysia.

Bawazeer boasts extensive relations with various Yemeni components. He served as the Director of the Office of the Presidency of the Republic for years and is considered one of President Hadi’s inner circle.

Faraj Salmin Al-Bahsani

Born in Yemen’s eastern Hadhramaut governorate in 1955, Al-Bahsani joined the national army in 1971.

He is currently the governor of Hadhramaut and is also a major general commanding the second military region that operates in the province.

Al-Bahsani earned a bachelor’s degree in artillery and missiles from the Higher Military College of the Soviet Union in 1975 and a master’s degree from Russia’s Frunze Military Academy in 1983 and went on to hold several positions in the army.

Sultan Ali Al-Arada

Al-Arada was born in the central province of Marib in 1958. He graduated from Sanaa University’s Faculty of Arts and has been involved in political work for the past four decades.

He previously served as Marib’s governor when the Houthi rebels were intensifying their advances to capture the oil-rich province, further enhancing his prominence.

He also holds the rank of major general in the army and was once a deputy in parliament.

Al-Arada is considered one of the most prominent tribal and military figures in Marib and Yemen in general.

Tariq Mohammed Saleh

A nephew of the late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Saleh was born in 1970 and is a prominent military commander in the army with the rank of brigadier general.

He currently heads the Emirati-backed National Resistance Forces based in the strategic city of Mocha near the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Believed to be a close ally of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saleh also enjoys good relations with the Saudis.

Othman Hussein Megally

Megally was born in 1970. He is a lawmaker and one of the tribal leaders in Yemen’s southwest Saada province, the main stronghold of the Houthis.

In 2003, he joined the General People's Congress and held several political positions, most notably Minister of Agriculture.

Aidarous Qassem Al-Zubaidi

Born in Al-Dhalea province in 1967, Al-Zubaidi is a political leader and currently heads Yemen’s separatist Southern Transitional Council.

He previously served as governor of Aden.

Abdulrahman Abu Zara'a

Abu Zara'a is known for his participation in many battles against the Houthis across Yemen.

Known among Yemenis as Abu Zara'a Al Muharrami, he also leads the UAE-backed Giants Brigades, a militia which managed in early 2022 to capture the southern oil province of Shabwa from the Houthis.

He is also known to be a Salafist, one of the Muslim religious orientations.

Abu Zara’a rarely makes media appearances and is believed to have has close ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition which seeks to reinstate the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises. Nearly 80% of the country’s total population of around 30 million are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million are in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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