Source: Voice of America, 17/01:2012
Yemen's foreign minister says a presidential election planned for next month may have to be delayed because of security problems in the country.
In an interview broadcast Tuesday on al-Arabiya television, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said if Yemen does not deal with the security issues it will be “difficult” hold elections on February 21.
His comments come days after al-Qaida militants took control of the southern town of Radda. Islamist militants also control other areas of the country's south.
The election is part of a Gulf-brokered plan to end nearly a year of unrest sparked by calls to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Under the agreement, Mr. Saleh handed authority to Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is the consensus candidate of major parties in the election.
Yemen's interim government approved a law earlier this month granting Mr. Saleh immunity from “legal and judicial prosecution” for any alleged crimes committed during his 33-year rule.
Pro-democracy activists have criticized the transition deal, saying they want Mr. Saleh and his powerful relatives to stand trial for a government crackdown on protests in which hundreds of people have been killed.