Yemen VP to sign power transfer deal in a week

RIYADH — Yemen’s Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi will sign a Gulf Arab initiative to arrange for a transfer of power in Yemen “within a week”, a high-level Saudi official said Saturday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 18 Sep 2011, 9:39 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:41 AM

On Monday, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been absent from the country for more than three months, authorised his deputy to negotiate a power transfer with the opposition.

“Within a week, the vice president will sign the Gulf Initiative in the name of the president,” said the Saudi official, who requested anonymity.

The so-called Gulf Initiative was proposed by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and sets the path for a peaceful transition of power out of Saleh’s hands.

The presidential decree gave Hadi “the necessary constitutional authority” to endorse the plan and to negotiate a power transfer mechanism with the opposition.

According to the Saudi official, “among the guarantees demanded by Salah are that his son be kept in the next government.”

Saleh, in power since 1978, has since January faced protests over nepotism and corruption from reform activists inspired by the Arab Spring.

He left the country three months ago for Saudi Arabia where he has been recovering from a June 3 attack on his presidential compound.

Saleh has refused to hand over power to his deputy or sign the Gulf Initiative. His refusal had angered the plan’s Gulf sponsors who, along with many in the international community, fear that a total melt-down of political order in Yemen could pave the way for Al-Qaeda linked militants to overrun the country.

n Thursday, the United States said it hoped the Gulf Initiative would be signed within a week.

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