Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Yemen opposition determined to take to streets despite President Saleh’s offer to meet their demands

By Nasser Arrabyee,02/02/2011

Sana’a- The Yemeni opposition said they would take to the streets tomorrow Thursday despite a declared promise by President Saleh that he would not stand for elections and he would not pass power to his son.

“The President Saleh’s call for dialogue is something and the demonstrations are something else,” said Mohammed Al Mutawakel, the chairman of the supreme council of the collation of the opposition parties.

“The opposition would take to the street tomorrow with the people, and the ruling party should not link the call for dialogue to the demonstrations.”

Al Mutawakel said the official reply to Saleh’s initiative would be announced later after consultations between the parties of opposition coalition which includes the Islamists, Socialists and Nasserites.

But Al Mutawakel said that the coming days would show if Saleh’s initiative was serious or not.
“We should not refuse the content of the speech, we would know its seriousness in the coming days,” he said.

The writer and political analyst, Sadek Nasher, the initiative of President would defuse the political crisis between the political parties in Yemen.

“The initiative has defused a political crisis which was seen in the horizon,” he said “ the concessions offered by President Saleh those more he would offer, made us optimistic that matters are moving towards a solution.”

The President Ali Abdullah Saleh said , in his initiative on the eve of “Day of Rage” as dubbed by young people through social media, he would not stand for elections when his current term ends in 2013 and that his son would not succeed him.

He said the constitutional amendments, proposed by his party, would be frozen, and April parliamentary elections would be delayed.

In an exceptional meeting with the two chambers of the Parliament, Saleh called the opposition parties to stop demonstrations and come back to dialogue. Saleh’s call comes only one day before big demonstrations called for by young people and opposition parties on Thursday.

“I would present concessions after concessions for the interest of the homeland which comes before the personal interests,” Saleh said in the exceptional meeting which was boycotted by the opposition parties.

“No extension, no inheritance, no resetting of the clock ,” he said.

The President Saleh said the dialogue should resume from the point they stopped, from the last step reached by his party and the opposition before they failed late last year.

The dialogue would resume from the 4-member committee, which includes two top officials from his party and two top officials from the coalition of the opposition parties.

Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi, and Abdul Kareem Al Iryani, from the ruling party, and Abdul Wahab Al Ansi, from the Islamist party (islah) and Yasin Saeed Noman from the Socialist party.
“I would approve what this committee would reach without stubbornness,” Saleh said.

But , in return, the opposition must suspend their demonstrations , rallies, sit-ins and marches, he said.

“We call the opposition for freezing their protests and rallies and sit-ins,” Saleh said.
He warned from violence, sabotage, riots and chaos.

“Every citizen has the right to have weapons to defend his properties, his house, and his family,” Saleh said.

“We do not want to destroy what we built over 49 years,” Saleh said in a reference to the age of the Republic which was proclaimed in 1962 after a revolution which overthrew the religious royal system.

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