Wednesday, 23 March 2011

President Saleh agrees to the opposition plan to step down

Opposition want Saleh to leave in one month and to remove sons and nephews from their posts
Protesters determined to march to the Presidential Palace Friday.

By Nasser Arrabyee/24/03/2011

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accepted Wednesday a plan suggested by the opposition to step down by the end of this year.

The plan is the same that was offered by the opposition earlier this month but was rejected by president Saleh.

Two tribal leaders Sadeq Abdullah Al Ahmar, and Ahmed Abu Huriah mediated on Tuesday between President Saleh and the Islamist-led opposition collation which includes the Islamists , Socialists, and Nasserites.

The two tribal leaders are also mediating between the two military commanders Ali Muhsen, and Ahmed Ali , son of the President, to prevent any bloody conflict between their forces.

A presidential statement said late Wednesday that President Saleh responded to the desire and advices of these two tribal mediators, both of them from his tribe Hashed, and accepted the five point plan of the opposition to save the blood of Yemenis.

The five-point plan of the opposition would be implemented according to the presidential statement as follows: A compromised national government should be formed, and committee for formulating a new constitution.

New law for elections on the basis of the proportional system. New committee for elections.
Referendum on the constitution, then holding parliamentary elections, and forming a new elected government. And then presidential elections. And all these steps should be taken before the end of this year.

As a condition to accept this mechanism of implementing this plan, sources close to the mediators said the opposition asked the mediators to tell President Saleh to remove his sons and nephews from their posts and that President himself should leave the power within one month from now.

However, the protesters in the streets do not care about these initiatives and plans.

On Wednesday thousands of protesters were celebrating the “end of their revolution” in what they called the Square of Change at the gate of Sana’a university where they have been sitting in for more than one month.

With big pictures of the defected military general Ali Muhsen in their podium, the protesters wrote a big banner which reads “ The people have toppled the regime, that’s it”.

A lot of them considered it as victory and end of their revolution when the most powerful army general Ali Muhsen, declared his support for them on Monday March 21st, 2011.

But some of the protesters refuse Ali Muhsen and say , the sit-in must continue until Ali Abdulla Saleh all his regime including general Ali Muhsen, go out, while some say the “end of the end” will be next Friday March 25th when they will march forward to the Presidential Palace to force Saleh to leave, under the protection of their “supporter” general Ali Muhsen.

The young protester Kamal Sharaf, independent, says “No I refuse marching forward, if the opposition want to march let them do that.”

Wadha Abdul Jaleel, says “why bother marching, the regime is collapsing, we should only wait until it’s collapsed.”

Tawakul Karman, a leading Islamist female member, one of the leaders of the anti-Saleh protests from the beginning of last February, says “ we must march forward on Friday, Mohammed Qahtan declared that Friday is for marching forward, and he is the spokesman of the opposition, and they are our big partners and we must follow what they say.”

Mrs Karman is in the same Islamist party , Islah, of Mohammed Qahtan who called the protesters on Tuesday to march forward to the “bed room of Saleh” with open chests “to let Saleh kill whatever he likes from the protesters”

And commenting on Saleh’s accepting the five-point plan on Wednesday, Qahtan said , “ The people have divorced the regime of Saleh, and what’s left now is the marching forward on Friday to the Presidential Palace.”

While people and protesters and even officials themselves, interpret the declared support of the general Ali Mushen in different ways, the general Muhsen sent an envoy to the camps of the protesters with a clarification statement on Tuesday.

The envoy of Muhsen, Askar Zuail, said from the podium of the protesters in the Square of Change , “ The era now is the era of peaceful struggle and not era of coups, and we will protect you and your peaceful revolution, and we will protect the accomplishments of the nation, and we will be with you until the peaceful transfer of power happens.”

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