Local News

Yemen: Ruling party proposes amendments to plan for Pres. Saleh to step down

Yemen’s ruling party has proposed changes to a power transfer deal that would give President Ali Abdullah Saleh more time to leave office. Saleh have rejected earlier formulations even though they offer he, his family and aides exemption from any criminal responsibility.

Many among protesters want Saleh tried for corruption, and killing protesters among other crimes.An official from an opposition coalition told Reuters news agency that the parties would meet on Thursday to give their view of the proposed changes, which would give Saleh 90 days instead of 30 to leave power once he signs the deal.

Power would be transferred to present vice president Hadi who is the acting ruler at present while Saleh recovers in Saudi Arabia from wounds he received in a June attack on his palace. After Saleh leaves, elections would be held and the opposition would form an interim unity government for a two-year transition period, retaining Hadi as interim president.The government would use the time to draft a new constitution and hold a dialogue with armed groups.

The military would also be restructured after the deal is signed. At present the military is dominated by Saleh’s relatives. Saleh, has defied months of mass protests against his 33-year rule. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are most anxious that Saleh sign a deal so that there can be a smooth transition of power.

However, given the divisions within Yemen and the demands of the protesters for justice, the deal may not stifle dissent but create even more.