World

Yemen's Shiite rebels could take over government in upcoming 'constitutional declaration'

  • Houthi Shiite rebels and their supporters release fireworks after Shiite rebels announced that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Houthi Shiite rebels and their supporters release fireworks after Shiite rebels announced that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Houthi Shiite rebels and their supporters release fireworks after Shiite rebels announced that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Houthi Shiite rebels and their supporters release fireworks after Shiite rebels announced that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yemeni people hold a rally to protest against Shiite rebels' announcement of taking over the country in Taiz, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. Arabic writing on banners that reads, "We reject the coup." (AP Photo/Anees Mahyoub)

    Yemeni people hold a rally to protest against Shiite rebels' announcement of taking over the country in Taiz, Yemen, Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. Yemen's powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their monthslong power grab. Arabic writing on banners that reads, "We reject the coup." (AP Photo/Anees Mahyoub)  (The Associated Press)

Yemen's Shiite rebels say they will announce a "constitutional declaration" Friday afternoon in a move that could signal their formal takeover of the Yemeni government.

The rebels, known as Houthis, have controlled the capital, Sanaa, since September. Their escalating dominance, including a siege of the presidential palace, prompted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to resign in January.

Hadi and his cabinet are being held under house arrest by the rebels — who gave a Wednesday deadline for Yemen's political parties to negotiate an acceptable way forward or else they would begin acting unilaterally.

Under Yemeni law, only the president can issue constitutional declarations.