Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Yemeni voters go to the polls to choose new leader
Tight security measures were set in place before crowds took to the polling stations this morning, in the capital city of Sana'a. The voting comes a year after ongoing anti-government demonstrations. New outbreaks of violence were recorded in the south on Monday 20th February ahead of the voting. One person is said to have been killed.
According to the BBC, the situation in Sana'a is relatively peaceful. The separatist Southern Movement and the northern Shi'a rebels, however, have called on Yemenis to boycott the poll.
It would seem that most of the anti-government demonstrators – who took part in the protests that began in January 2012 – are backing Hadi, who is from the south and has already called for dialogue with the local rebels.
Hadi is the only candidate, but the majority of the country seems enthusiastic about the prospect of him taking over from Saleh, who in theory is no longer the country's leader, but who still exerts substantial influence over the military and his former personnel.
Yemen is in a bad way, the country's economy is depleted, insecurity is rife and the al-Qa'ida militants have recently taken control of two districts. The country's new president will face a number of problems before Yemen regains stability.
Sources: BBC News, AFP, Bloomberg
For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.