Thursday, 5 May 2011

Efforts to defuse Yemen crisis continue

By Nasser Arrabyee/05/05/2011

*US and EU diplomats do not mind if Saleh signs as head of the ruling party.

*30 persons from opposition and ruling party to sign the US-backed and Saudi-led GCC plan to transfer power from President Saleh in one month.

The US and EU ambassadors have encouraged Yemeni opposition to agree that President Ali Abdullah Saleh sign on the GCC power-transfer plan as the head of the ruling party and not as the President of the republic, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

The sources said it’s a political agreement and not legal.

“The agreement with the ruling party would preserve the constitutional legitimacy and would pave the way for presidential elections,” said the sources.

Earlier President Saleh said after he steps down he would remain as the head of the ruling party that would participate in the coming elections.

The ruling party officials keep saying their party would sign the GCC deal as a political partner, because the agreement is between parties (ruling party and opposition coalition) within the Yemeni State and not between two States.

Meanwhile, the Al Ola newspaper daily said Thursday that the GCC chief Abdul Latif Al Zayani requested a list of 30 persons from both the ruling party and the opposition coalition (15 from each side) to sign the GCC deal.

May 2nd, 2011, was the date set by the GCC officials for signing the US-backed and Saudi-led GCC plan in the Saudi capital Riyadh. At the last minute both sides disagreed on in what capacity Saleh should sign, in his capacity as president of the republic or as his capacity as head of the ruling party.

The opposition wanted him to sign as the president of the republic and he and his supporters refused.

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