Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Yemen’s opposition welcomes Saleh’s initiative not to extend rule or pass it to his son

President Saleh won't stand for elections anymore, won't pass power to his son, and no elections, no consititutional amendments without opposition's agreement, but also no protests.

By Nasser Arrabyee/02/02/2011
The Yemeni opposition said they would discuss and respond to the President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s “positive” initiative which stops extension of Saleh’s presidency or passing it to his son.

Mohammed Abdul Malik Al Mutawakel, chairman of the supreme council of the opposition coalition which includes Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, told reporters on Wednesday, “We would look at the initiative and respond to it when we receive it officially.”

Al Mutawakel earlier said, the opposition wants at this stage serious and genuine reforms, not ouster of President Saleh.

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 concession for the interest of the homeland which comes before the personal interest,” Saleh said in the exceptional meeting which was boycotted by the opposition.

“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 last late last year.

The dialogue would resume from 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.
“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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