Yemen 1991 Constitution (reviewed 2015)

Table of Contents


Chapter I. The Political Foundations

Article 1

The Republic of Yemen is an Arab, Islamic and independent sovereign state whose integrity is inviolable, and no part of which may be ceded. The people of Yemen are part of the Arab and Islamic Nation.

Article 2

Islam is the religion of the state, and Arabic is its official Language.

Article 3

Islamic Shari’ah is the source of all legislation.

Article 4

The people of Yemen are the possessor and the source of power, which they exercise directly through public referendums and elections, or indirectly through the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, as well as through elected local councils.

Article 5

The political system of the Republic of Yemen is based on political and partisan pluralism in order to achieve a peaceful transformation of power. The Law stipulates rules and procedures required for the formation of political organizations and parties, and the exercise of political activity. Misuse of Governmental posts and public funds for the special interest of a specific party or Political organization is not permitted.

Article 6

The Republic of Yemen confirms its adherence to the UN Charter, the International Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the Arab League, and Principles of international Law which are generally recognized.

Chapter II. The Economic Foundations

Article 7

The national economy is based on freedom of economic activity which benefits both the individual and society and which enhances national independence. The national economy should be founded on the following principles:

  1. Islamic social justice in economic relations which aims at developing and promoting production, achieving social integration and equilibrium, providing equal opportunities and promoting higher living standards in society.
  2. Lawful competition between the public, private, cooperative and mixed economic sectors, and realisation of equal and just treatment in all sectors.
  3. Protection and respect for private ownership, which cannot be confiscated unless necessary in the public interest, in lieu of fair consideration and in accordance with Law.

Article 8

All types of natural resources and sources of energy, whether aboveground, underground, in territorial waters, on the continental shelf or the exclusive economic zone are owned by the State, which assure their exploitation for the common good of the people.

Article 9

The state’s economic policy shall be based on scientific planning which ensures the best utilization of all resources and the promotion of capabilities for all economic sectors in all socio-economic fields of development and within the state’s development plan which serves the common interest and the national economy.

Article 10

The state shall sponsor free trade and investment in a way that serves the national economy. It shall issue legislation that guarantees protection for producers and consumers alike, assures availability of basic commodities and promotes anti-trust Laws. The state shall undertake to promote private capital investments in all socio-economic development fields all in accordance with the Law.

Article 11

The law shall regulate the state’s official currency and the financial and banking systems. It shall also define measurements, standards and weights.

Article 12

Taxes should be assessed with regard to the public interest in order to achieve social justice among citizens.

Article 13

  1. The imposition, adjustment and Revocation of taxes shall only be authorized by Law. No one shall be partially or fully exempted from tax-payments unless the law stipulates so and no one shall be subject to taxes, or other charges unless so dictated by law.
  2. The imposition, collection, adjustment, exemption and disposition of duties and fees shall only be dictated by law.

Article 14

The state shall encourage cooperation and savings. It shall sponsor efforts to establish cooperative projects and activities of all kinds.

Article 15

The Law shall specify the basic rules for the collection and disbursement of public funds.

Article 16

The executive power is not authorized to contract loans or guarantee them or associate itself with a project that entails the spending of public funds in a coming year/years without the approval of the House of Representatives.

Article 17

The Law shall specify the scales of salaries, wages. compensations, subsidies and bonuses payable from the government treasury.

Article 18

Contracting concessions regarding natural resources and public facilities should be undertaken according to the law. The law may illustrate some cases of limited significance in which concessions could be granted according to rules and procedures clarified in the law. The law shall define cases and ways of granting certain immobile and mobile property, and rules and procedures to be undertaken. The law shall also regulate the ways of awarding concessions to local entities/units and the free disposal/ use of public funds.

Article 19

Public funds and properties are inviolable. The state and all members of society shall maintain and protect them. Any attack on or misuse of these, shall be considered sabotage and an aggression on society, and those who violate their sacrosanctity shall be punished in accordance with the law.

Article 20

General confiscation of property is prohibited, private confiscation is not allowed without a legal judgment.

Article 21

The state shall collect the Zakat (Shari’ah tax) and shall spend it through its legal channels in accordance with law.

Article 22

Endowment properties are inviolable. Those who control them are obliged to improve and develop their resources and spend them in a way that secures the accomplishment of their objectives and legal aims.

Article 23

The right of inheritance is guaranteed in accordance with Islamic tenets (Shari’ah). A special law will be issued accordingly.

Chapter III. Social and Cultural Foundations

Article 24

The state shall guarantee equal opportunities for all citizens in the fields of political, economic, social and cultural activities and shall enact the necessary laws for the realization thereof.

Article 25

Yemeni society is based on social solidarity, which is based on justice, freedom and equality according to the law.

Article 26

The Family is the basis of society, its pillars are religion, customs and love of the homeland. The law shall maintain the integrity of the family and strengthen its ties.

Article 27

The state shall guarantee freedom of scientific research and achievements in the fields of literature, arts and culture, which conform with the spirit and objectives of the Constitution. The state shall provide means conducive to such achievements and shall provide support and encouragement for scientific and technical invention, and artistic creation and shall protect achievements thereof.

Article 28

Public office is a duty and an honour. Persons in public office are to serve the public interest and the people. The law shall specify the terms of public service and the duties and rights of persons in public office.

Article 29

Work is a right, an honour, and a necessity for society’s progress. Every citizen has the right to choose the appropriate work for himself within the law. No citizen can be compelled to do any work except within the law, and in which case it is to serve the common interest and be in return for a fair wage. The law shall regulate union activities and professional work, and the relationship between workers and employers.

Article 30

The state shall protect mothers and children, and shall sponsor the youth and the young.

Article 31

Women are the sisters of men. They have rights and duties, which are guaranteed and assigned by Shari’ah and stipulated by law.

Article 32

Education, health and social services are the basic pillars for building and developing the society. Society shall with the state take part in providing them.

Article 33

In cooperation with society, the state bears responsibility for consequences resulting from natural disasters and public crises.

Article 34

It is the duty of the state and all members of society to protect and maintain the archaeological and historical sites. Any abuse of the sites or aggression on archaeological finds shall be considered sabotage and an assault against society. The law shall punish those who abuse their inviolability or sell them.

Article 35

Environmental protection is the collective responsibility of the state and the community at large. Each individual shall have a religious and national duty to protect the environment.

Chapter IV. The National Defense Foundations

Article 36

The state is the authority to establish the armed forces, the police, the security forces and any such bodies. Such forces belong to all the people and their function is to protect the republic and safeguard its territories and security. No organization, individual, group, political party or organization may establish forces or paramilitary groups for whatever purpose or under any name. The law stipulates the conditions for military service, promotion and disciplinary procedures in the military, police and security forces.

Article 37

General mobilization shall be organized according to the law and shall be proclaimed by the President of the Republic following the approval of the House of Representatives.

Article 38

The National Defense Council, headed by the President of the Republic, will exist to attend to matters pertaining to means of safeguarding the Republic and its security. The law shall determine its composition, duties and other functions.

Article 39

The police is a civilian and Regular force which performs its duties for the service of the people and guarantees peace and security for the people. It shall preserve the law, keep public order, maintain common decency, implement the orders of the judicial authority and execute duties dictated to it by the Country’s laws, and regulations.

Article 40

Military, security, police and other forces shall not be employed in the interest of a party, an individual or group. They shall be safeguarded against all forms of differentiation resulting from party affiliation, racism, factionalism, regionalism and tribalism in order to guarantee their neutrality and the fulfillment of their duties in the proper manner. The members of all forces are banned from party memberships and activities according to the law.