Big pro-and anti-Saleh rallies before accepting or refusing a GCC plan to solve the deteriorating crisis.
By Nasser Arrabyee/21/04/2011
The supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition are in full swing preparations for seemingly a decisive Friday rallies before accepting or refusing a GCC plan to solve the crisis in Yemen.
The Saleh supporters call their Friday the “Friday of Reconciliation” and the opposition call it the “ Friday of the Last Chance”.
This Friday, April 22, 2011, is different from the previous Fridays of Yemen unrest over more than three months, because a US-backed- Saudi-led GCC plan suggests that President Saleh should step down in one month after he hands over his powers to his deputy.
A new president should be elected within two months after forming a unity government from the ruling party (50%), and opposition (40%) and other parties (10%).
Sources from both sides said their final positions about the plan would be declared before Saturday.
However, the two sides, in their media statements, are still far from the GCC plan.
The opposition wants Saleh to immediate step down and Saleh’s supporters insist on their President to continue until his constitutional term ends on September 2013.
And Saleh himself promises his supporters he would stand as firm as mountains and would never accept coups and conspiracies.
On the eve of this seemingly decisive Friday, the GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani, met President Saleh and the opposition leaders and handed them the GCC view on how a smooth and peaceful transfer of power can take place in the light of the discussions between the GCC foreign ministers and the delegations of the opposition and the ruling party in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi earlier this week.
The UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayid, is expected to arrive in Sana’a on Saturday to attend the signing ceremony of an agreement to implement the GCC plan if the two sides approved the plan.
Meanwhile the two sides are trying to mobilize as many as supporters as possible to show their popularity in the street especially after President Saleh defiantly said on Wednesday “ Change or departure must only take through balloting boxes, and for the streets, every party knows very well their popularity.”
For the first time, the opposition called their supporters to attend the “Friday of the Last Chance” in the 60-ring road which extends directly to the Presidential Palace.
The opposition obviously wants to hint that they could march to the Presidential Palace to make the pressure on Saleh at the highest level
The supporters of Saleh who come every Friday from almost all provinces would perform their Friday prayers in Al Sabeen and Tahrir squares and the big rally after sermons would be held as always in Al Sabeen Square which is close to the Presidential Palace.
The masses of each side on Fridays could be estimated at one million each.