Yemen Update: “I’ll give you what you want please let me stay in power”

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Middle East
Tags:

Someone is smart enough to quell social unrest by listening. Sometimes humility helps.

Yemen president vows reform as protests continue

Reuters

By Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari Mohamed Sudam And Mohammed Ghobari Thu Mar 10, 6:17 am ET

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, hoping to defuse increasingly violent protests against his 32-year rule, said Thursday he would draw up a new constitution to create a parliamentary system of government.

An opposition spokesman swiftly rejected the proposal, and called for the continuation of anti-government rallies, which kicked off in January and have claimed almost 30 lives.

Impoverished Yemen, a neighbor of oil giant Saudi Arabia, is one of several Arab states that have seen mass protests this year, with Saleh looking increasingly weakened by the unrest.

Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters gathered in a soccer stadium, the autocratic Saleh said he wanted to form a unity government to help put in place a new political system.

“Firstly we will form a new constitution based on the separation of powers. A referendum on this new constitution will be held before the end of this year,” he said, speaking beneath a large portrait of himself.

“I’m already sure that this initiative won’t be accepted by the opposition, but in order to do the right thing, I am offering this to the people and they will decide,” he added.

Yemen is a presidential republic, where the head of state wields significant powers. But as water and oil resources dry up, it has become increasingly difficult to fuel the patronage system that kept his tribal and political backers loyal.

The rotating president of Yemen’s umbrella opposition coalition, Yassin Noman, said his plan was too little, too late, and would not put an end to calls for Saleh’s resignation.

“These proposals have been overtaken by realities on the ground,” he said. “Had the ruling party offered this six months ago, it would have been different. It’s too late now.”

Rest of story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110310/wl_nm/us_yemen_protests_president

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s