Yemeni protesters want interim council

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Yemen
Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets in the capital, Sana'a, demanding the immediate formation of a transitional ruling council to replace Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia earlier this month to receive medical treatment for wounds he suffered in a rocket attack on his compound.

Since his departure, anti-government protesters have been holding daily demonstrations across the country, demanding a transitional council to prevent Saleh from returning to power.

On Monday, protesters also called for the removal of Saleh's relatives, including his son Ahmed and nephew Ammar, from key military posts.

Saleh's eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh who was widely suspected of inheriting presidency from his father before the popular uprising started, heads Yemen's elite Presidential Guard, the force leading the brutal crackdown on anti-regime protesters since the uprising began in February. Ammar is also the head of Yemen's National Security force.

Many in Yemen believe that Saleh's sons and nephews are trying to take control of the country in his absence.

Similar anti-Saleh protests were also held in the southern city of Taizz.

Yemeni Vice President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, who is the acting president in charge of the caretaker government during Saleh's absence, has so far resisted intensive local and international pressure to heed the demands of protesters to set up an interim ruling council.

According to the opposition, the transitional council would "appoint a nationalist and compatible figure to form a government of technocrats.

The opposition has also called for the dissolution of the parliament and the country's consultative council and the formation of a committee to draw up a new constitution and set dates for holding a referendum on the constitution and for elections.

Meanwhile, Yemeni officials insist that Saleh, who is now lying in a Saudi hospital recovering from what reports said were burns to over 40 percent of his body, will come back home within days, despite Saudi reports that the veteran leader will not return.

A Yemeni deputy minister, who was wounded in the palace attack along with Saleh, died in a Saudi hospital on Sunday.


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