Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Saleh should step down at the end of this year, latest, Yemen opposition say

By Nasser Arrabyee/02/03/2011

The Yemeni tribal and religious leaders agreed Wednesday with the main opposition parties to give President Ali Abdullah Saleh a chance for a peaceful and smooth transfer of power within a period of nine months maximum.

“We have agreed with clerics and sheikhs on a 5-point plan to enter in a dialogue with the ruling party,” said Dr. Mohammed Abdul Malik Al Mutawakil, the chairman of the supreme council of the opposition coalition which includes the Islamists, Socialists and Nasserite.

The power should be transferred peacefully and smoothly in a time not later than the end of this year, said Al Mutawakil. (Saleh earlier said he would not run for office when his current term ends in September 20th, 2013, and that his son would not succeed him, and opposition asked for concrete guarantees).

All Yemenis should be free to do their peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins.
A committee should be formed to investigate the attacks against protestors and hold accountable the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The families of the martyrs should be compensated and those injured should be treated at the expense of the State.

All forces and parties of the political process inside and outside Yemen without exception should be involved in the discussion, Al Mutawakil told the reporters on Wednesday.

On Monday, the tribal and religious leaders suggested a 7-point plan to President Saleh who added one more point before he agreed on it . President Saleh added the point that the demonstrations and sit-ins should stop.

The 8-point plan which was read to President Saleh in presence of all Yemeni clerics and some tribal leaders in Al Saleh grand mosque, by Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zandani, the most influential cleric in the largest Islamist opposition party, Islah. It was as follows:

1. All parties are to end demonstrations and sit-ins to bring an end to streets congestion, preventing chaos, destruction of public and private properties.

2. All parties are to end inciting and provocative media campaigns in order to create a suitable environment for national dialogue.

3. Establishment of a mediation committee to end political disputes. Five prominent judges will be selected to the committee. GPC will choose two Judges, JMP will also select two and the Committee of Religious Scholars will choose the fifth member.

4. The release of prisoners who has not been proven guilty or don’t have pending court cases .

5. Forming a national unity government (coalition government).

6. Intensifying anti-corruption investigations and activities by speeding up the prosecution of pending cases.

7. The withdrawal of the current election and referendum draft laws. Parliament will have to approve a new law with the consensus of both parties (Ruling & Opposition).

8. The Withdrawal of proposed constitutional amendments.

Furthermore, a Presidential directive established an investigatory committee into the recent outbreaks of violence in the City of Aden. The committee will be headed by Minister of State Abdulqader Helal and includes Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Minister of Local Affairs, Chairwoman of the National Womens' Commettie and Dean of the Lawyers Union.

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