Report: Yemen’s Saleh to Step Down
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly agreed to step down within a month in a deal that would allow him to escape prosecution.
The Associated Press said in a report that Saleh has accepted an exit plan presented by the Gulf Cooperation Council—a group composed of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. Under the deal, Saleh will handover the presidency to his deputy within 30 days, but the embattled leader, who has ruled the country since 1978, will be immune from prosecution.
The Yemeni opposition, which has been calling for change through a series of mass protests, said Saturday that it is accepting the GCC plan, except for an article in the draft that empowers Parliament to reject Saleh’s resignation. Saleh’s General People’s Congress dominates Parliament. Saleh is facing mounting pressure to step down amid allegations that he has been using violence to quell the protests. The 65-year-old Saleh had earlier rejected calls to immediately relinquish power, even accusing opposition leaders Saturday of “dragging the country into a civil war.”