Local News

Yemeni Opposition Says GCC-Backed Political Plan Is ‘Dead

Yemen’s Joint Meetings Party, a coalition of six opposition groups, says a plan to end the country’s political crisis is dead following a visit by the chief envoy of Arab Gulf states seeking to broker a deal.

While the coalition is willing to meet Abdel Latif al- Zayyani, the secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, again to explore new options, the current proposal was considered “dead,” Mohammed Qahtan, spokesman for the opposition, said in a telephone interview today.

Thousands of protesters returned to the streets in Sana’a, the capital, today calling for an end to the 32-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Several people marched through the streets carrying a makeshift coffin with the words “GCC Initiative” written on the side.

Protests have persisted since the government and the Joint Meetings Parties failed to sign a GCC-brokered plan last month. Under the terms of the plan, Saleh would have ceded power within a month of signing the deal and would be granted immunity from prosecution. Al-Zayyani visited Sana’a yesterday to revive the group’s stalled peace initiative, the official Saba news service said.

Protests in Yemen calling for an end to Saleh’s rule are in their third month. At least 100 people have died as security forces have repeatedly fired on demonstrations that began on Feb. 11, according to the Arabic Sisters Forum for Human Rights in Sana’a.