Monday, 24 January 2011

Yemen is not like Tunisia, President Saleh says

By Nasser Arrabyee/24/01/2011

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called the opposition parties in his country for a televised debate on the most controversial issues like constitutional amendments and elections.

“Come up for a TV debate on my program and your programs,” President Saleh.

Saleh warned from protests and demonstrations that call for violence and chaos. Over the last few days, the capital Sana’a witnessed students demonstrations calling for change and ouster of President Saleh.

“Yemen is a country of freedom and democracy, but we warn from chaos and demagogy,” Saleh said in an annual conference for army and security commanders held in Sana’a Sunday.

“Yemen is not like Tunisia, where people were not allowed to enter mosques with IDs.”
He said he would ask for pardon from people if he made mistakes or fell short of his duties during his 32 years in power.

“I would ask for pardon from the people if I made mistakes or I fell short of my duties, only god is perfect,” he said.

President Saleh blasted those who say he wants to pass the power to his son saying he is against the hereditary rule.

“Talking about hereditary rule is an impudent symphony, we are a republican and democratic system and we are against the hereditary rule,” He said “We are against the hereditary rule of the village, of the tribe, of the power, of the unity, of the ministry, we are against hereditary rule.”

On the latest proposed constitutional amendment which cancels the presidential term limits, President Saleh said he is supporting only two presidential terms, five years each and not leaving it open for ever.

“It’s only some MPs who suggested cancellation of the presidential term limits, but in my electoral program which I’m responsible for, it’s only two terms , five years each,” He said.

President Saleh’s last term ends in September 2013.
Saleh also told the military and security commanders of the conference to stop saying “ with soul, and blood we protect Ali”

“ With soul and blood we protect Yemen, with soul and blood we protect Yemen, this is what we should always say,” Saleh told the participants of the annual military and security conference who gave him a big applause.

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