Wednesday, 2 February 2011

President Saleh to step-down in 2013

According to latest reports, Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he will not seek re-election when his presidency expires in 2013. The subject of recent riots in the country, Saleh also vowed that he will not pass the power over to his son.

Speaking to the parliament, Saleh announced his decision to step-down by saying he wanted "no extension, no inheritance, no resetting the clock," and further added that his personal interests would not come before “the interests of the country”.

Saleh's decision was most likely prompted by the demonstrations in Sana'a, which began on 29th January, when thousands took to the streets in protest of rising food prices and unemployment. As well as announcing his decision, Saleh called on the opposition to "freeze all planned protests, rallies and sit-ins" and urged for a peaceful resolution.

In view of events in Tunisia, he also made a series of concessions: halving income tax, ordering his government to control prices and pledging to raise civil servant by around US$ 47 a month. The concessions were welcomed by the country's largest opposition party but it said the planned rally would not be called off.

Sources: BBC News, FT, AFP, LA Times, The Guardian

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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