Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi & Nasser al-Rabyee
Article Date: Apr 4, 2011 - 10:25:14 AM
Yemen’s opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) has presented a five-point plan on Saturday that outlines the details of how President Ali Abdullah Saleh should hand over power.
The five points are as follows: 1.
President Saleh should step down and transfer all his powers to his deputy, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
2. Hadi should immediately restructure the security agencies, national security, central security and Republican Guards to ensure that they function according to the constitution and laws without nepotism. (These three agencies are currently run by two nephews and a son of President Saleh.)
3. Reaching a compromise with the new president (Hadi) about the transitional power through the following: (a) A transitional council in which all parties and sectors, including youth and women, conduct a comprehensive dialogue with everyone inside and outside Yemen about all issues, including the issue of the south and the creation of the State based on a parliamentary system and proportional electoral system. (b) Forming a committee of experts to undertake constitutional reforms in light of the results of the comprehensive dialogue. (c) Forming a national unity government chaired by the opposition in which all parties and categories, including the youth, should be represented. (d) A temporary council of respected military commanders in which all components should be represented, including those military officers and commanders who were forced to retire after the 1994 civil war.
4. Forming a high commission on elections and referendum to conduct the referendum under the new constitution and to conduct parliamentary and presidential elections.
5. Confirmation of the right to peaceful demonstrations, expressions and investigations into the attacks on the demonstrators, especially the massacres in Aden, Sana’a and Abyan, and to put those responsible on trial and compensate the families of those who were killed and injured. Mohammed Qahtan, spokesman of the JMP, said that this proposal meant that the “ball is in the president’s court”.
Other sources also said that the current political crisis was drawing to a close and that all conflicting parties are about to agree on a deal giving President Saleh a “safe and honored exit”. These sources also said earlier on Saturday that meetings and negotiations between President Saleh, the opposition and western mediators had started last week.
President Saleh meanwhile said on Friday that he would sacrifice himself for Yemen, words which were widely understood to mean that he would step down.
“I would sacrifice myself for you and for the Yemeni people,” President Saleh told about two million of his supporters who rallied in two big squares of the capital, Tahrir and Saba’een, as well as the streets nearby. State-run media estimated that the rally at Saba’een Square totaled four million and that ten million participated in all provinces. Saleh’s supporters, who called their rally the ‘Friday of Brotherhood’ were chanting “yes for security and stability, yes for constitutional legitimacy”.
They came from almost all over the country to Sana’a. “The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh, the people ant Ali Abdullah Saleh,” they chanted. At the same time, hundreds of thousands were also chanting, “The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh out, the people want Ali Abdullah Saleh out” on the other end of Sana’a. The opposition media estimated that their supporters in Sana’a totaled one-and-a-half million who participated in the ‘Friday of Liberation’ in about 15 provinces. They said a total of five million participated nationwide. President Saleh made a short speech on Friday in front of his supporters.
He said that he would not answer to anyone, an obvious reference to the opposition, who doubted his popularity. He thanked his supporters and promised to sacrifice himself for them. Young protesters and opposition parties said that they don’t want him to sacrifice his post only and not his life. “We do not want him to sacrifice himself for us.
We want him only to sacrifice his post and go,” said the 27-year Adel Abdu Arrabyee, a member of the media committee at the sit-in demonstration at Change Square at the gate of Sana’a University.
“We , the youth of revolution, would assure President Saleh that we would not be with his political opponents, but we would be with the new Yemen; a Yemen of freedom, democracy and a civil state.”
Reports from Taiz province meanwhile indicated on Sunday that more than 100 protesters suffocated as a result of tear gas fired by anti-riot forces that clashed with some protesters
Bushra al-Maqtari, one of the protester activists, alleged that three protesters were wounded when the police fired live ammunition at them.
She condemned the use of live ammunition and sticks by the police against the demonstrators. President Saleh said that he would start the process of transferring power peacefully after protesters stopped their sit-in demonstrations around the country.
During a meeting with his supporters from Taiz province on Sunday President Saleh called for an end to protests, assassinations, road closures and defected military units. He said that he was willing to discuss the issue of transferring power though a peaceful and constitutional manner.
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