Sunday, 3 April 2011

President Saleh calls opposition to end protests, before talks about “constitutional” step down

Attempts in Sana'a, Aden and Taiz for marching and surrounding important buildings.
Efforts still being exerted for finding out peaceful transfer of power and safe and honored exit for Saleh.

By Nasser Arrabyee/03/04/2011

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called opposition to end the demonstrations and sit-ins before he steps down according to the constitution.

“We call the opposition to end the demonstrations and sit-ins and road blockings,” said President Saleh Sunday in a meeting with tribal supporters from Taiz province.

“We are ready to talk about the peaceful transfer of the power in the framework of the constitution,” Saleh added “ but not by twisting the arms.”

President Saleh might have disappointed the Islamist-led opposition coalition which includes Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, who were expecting Saleh to accept what they called the “last chance” initiative, a new-five point plan for Saleh to immediately step down and hand over all his powers to his deputy.

The assistant secretary general of the ruling, Sultan Al Barakani, said his party did not receive an official letter from the opposition about their five-point plan. “We, have not received it officially,” he said when he declined to comment.

The young people in the sit-in square did not care very much about the plan. “The plan belongs to the opposition, we do not care about it,” said Adel Abdu Arrabyee, member of the media committee of the young protesters in their ‘Change Square’, at the gate of Sana’a university.

“The only thing we care about in this plan is the immediate step down of Saleh, but this point was not clear enough to us.”

An opposition Islamist leader said Sunday that he and his supporters would march forward to the Presidential Palace if President Saleh refused this “last chance” plan.

“This is the last chance for the soft going out of Saleh, but if he refused, we would march forward to the Presidential palace,” Said Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman of the opposition coalition.

Earlier last March, Qahtan also threatened to march forward to Saleh’s “bed room”, the matter which angered a lot of Yemenis who considered such a thing an unacceptable shame. So,this call increased the popularity of Saleh.

In the three main cities Sana’a, Aden, and Taiz, the protesters seem to be planning for marching forward and surrounding the important government buildings in the coming few days, in an escalation step to pressure Saleh to step down.

More than hundred were slightly injured when security forces used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to do the first march of this kind to the buildings compound of the local government in Taiz city.

One hour before this march, hundreds of women, only women, did a similar march in the same streets and returned peacefully to their sit-in square in Safer, Taiz city.

In Sana’a, hundreds of teachers were stopped by the defected army from implementing a march from the sit-in square nearby the university to the cabinet buildings.

“The army soldiers of general Ali Muhsen prevented the teachers from marching to the cabinet for their safety,” Arrabyee said.
The army of general Ali Muhsen, who declared earlier last month his support for a peaceful revolution against Saleh, are surrounding the protesters nearby the university from all directions.

“The soldiers also told the teachers that the president Saleh-loyal security forces and republican guards will shoot at them if they march,” Arrabyee added.

In Aden the protesters have been trying over the last few days to implement and call for a civil disobedience in the city.

Despite attempts of escalation to press Saleh to step down, there are many people in the opposition who still exert efforts to find an honored and respect exit for Saleh.

“President Saleh served Yemen during the past period with his good and bad, and now time has come for him to go out, but we want him to have a safe and honored exit and we want him to be a former president,” said Dr. Mohammed Abdul Malik Al Mutawakil, the former chairman of the opposition coalition.

Late yesterday, the Yemen opposition agreed on a five point plan for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down and hand over the power to his deputy.

1) The President Saleh should announce his step-down and transfer all his powers to his deputy, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

2) Mr. Hadi should immediately re-structure the security agencies, the national security, the central security, and the republican guards, to make them function according to the constitution and laws far from nepotism (these three agencies are run now by two nephews and a son of Saleh).

3) Reaching a compromise with the new president (Mr. Hadi) about the transitional power through the following : A) A transitional council in which all parties and categories including the youth and women for conducting a comprehensive dialogue with everyone inside and outside Yemen, about all issues including the issue of the south, and creation of the civil state based on parliamentary system and proportional electoral system.

B) Formation of a committee of experts to do constitutional reforms in the light of the results of the dialogue. C) Formation of a national unity government chaired by the opposition, in which all parties and categories including the young people should be represented. D) A temporary council of respected military commanders in which all components should be represented including those military officers and commanders who were forced to retire after the 1994 war.

4) Formation of high commission on elections and referendum, to conduct the referendum on the new constitution and conduct parliamentary and presidential elections.

5) Confirmation of the right to peaceful demonstrations and expressions, and investigations into the attacks on the demonstrators especially the massacres in Aden , Sana’a and Abyan, and put those responsible on trial and compensate the families of those who were killed and injured.

Earlier tonight, the Yemeni opposition parties agreed late Saturday on a plan for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to transfer the power. After an exceptional meeting held by the opposition leaders, the spokesman of the opposition coalition, Mohammed Qahtan said the steps of this plan will be announced in hours tonight. “And the ball would be in the Presidnet’s court,” Qahtan said with any further details.

Earlier in the day sources said, the political Yemeni crisis is expected to come to an end very soon as all conflicting parties are about to agree on a deal giving President Ali Abdullah Saleh a “safe and honored exit”.

The sources said that meetings and negotiations between Saleh and opposition with western mediators did not stop from last week.

“I’m expecting a solution today Friday or tomorrow for this crisis,” a source close to the negotiations which include American and European diplomats.

“The meetings and negations did not stop from last Saturday March 26th, 2011,” the sources added.

The President Saleh said on Friday he would sacrifice himself for Yemen, a sentence which was widely understood, he would step down.

“I would sacrifice myself for you and for the Yemeni people,” Saleh told about 2 million of his supporters who rallied in the two big squares of the capital, Tahrir and Al Sabeen and all the streets and sub-streets around them.

The state-run media estimated the people in the rally of AlSabeen Square at 4 million and those who participated in all provinces at 10 million.

Saleh’s supporters, who called their Friday the “Friday of brotherhood and Tolerance”, were chanting “Yes for security and stability, yes for constitutional legitimacy.”

The Saleh’s supporters came almost from all over the country to Sana’a.

They were chanting “The People Want Ali Abdullah Saleh, the People Want Ali Abdullah Saleh”.

At the same time hundreds of thousands were chanting “ The People Want Ali Abdullah Saleh out, The People Want Ali Abdullah Saleh out” in the other side of the corner of the city.

The opposition media estimated their supporters in Sana’a at one million and a half and their supporters who participated in the “Friday of Liberation” in about 15 provinces at 5 million people.

No comments:

Post a Comment