EFESanaa

The Shiite Houthi militia announced Friday that it was dissolving the Yemeni parliament and designating a five-member interim Presidential Council to manage the country's affairs during a two-year transition period.

In a ceremony broadcast on Houthi-controlled state television, a Constitutional Act in 16 articles was read out.

It authorized the formation of a provisional National Council of 551 members to be responsible for designating a Presidential Council and an interim government of technocrats.

The declaration also stipulates that the mandate of the Presidential Council and the interim government will last for no longer than two years.

During that time a new constitution for Yemen will be drawn up and submitted to a referendum as a prelude to presidential and parliamentary elections.

According to the declaration, the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, which basically consists of the Houthi leadership, has the power to endorse or approve all decisions taken by the National Council.

In the same context, the Supreme Committee is to issue a decision establishing the prerogatives of the three bodies announced today.

The Houthis said this step aims to "fill the power vacuum" caused by the resignation of former Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the failure of the country's political forces to reach an agreement on the composition of a Presidential Council.

On January 1, 2014 the Shiite movement gave a three-day ultimatum to Yemen's various political formations warning them to take urgent decisions.

The conflict between the Shiite movement and the authorities has worsened following the resignation of Hadi and his government under pressure from the Houthis, who seized control of presidential buildings in Sanaa last month.

The Houthis, who had already taken up arms against the authorities in 2004 and 2010, began their military expansion across the country last September and are wholly or partially in control of seven Yemeni provinces, including the capital, Sanaa.