Tuesday, 25 January 2011

EU calls on Yemen political forces to resume dialogue

Source: Xinhua, 26/01/2011

Ambassadors of the EU member states to Yemen on Tuesday called on the ruling party and opposition to return to dialogue to prepare holding parliamentary elections that scheduled for April 27, state media reported."The EU Missions Heads in Sanaa notes with concerns the lack of progress made in Yemen's national dialogue," the ambassadors said in a statement, cited by official Saba news agency.

"We call for all Yemeni political parties to return to dialogue to prepare holding the parliamentary elections that meet the international standards," they said, stressing that the EU stands ready to continue its support for the national dialogue and electoral process in Yemen.

Growing tensions between political forces have spilled over after parliamentary members of the ruling party approved " unilateral" constitutional amendments on Jan. 1, which angered the opposition coalition who carried out protests and pledged to boycott any future elections.

The would-be amendments, which will be finally approved on March 1, would eliminate the limited two consecutive presidential terms, and put the new presidential term for five years, in which president has the constitutional right to candidate himself for unlimited future terms, according the ruling party's website.

The amendment triggered protests of hundreds of the Yemeni people who went to the streets in Sanaa over the previous eight days, demanding ousting of the long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh.On Sunday, Saleh announced on the state TV that he will step down after his second presidential term expires in 2013, following the eight days of popular protests.

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