Yemen

Saleh accepts GCC plan


Published

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plan for a transitional government.

The plan allows for the president to hand over power to his vice president, Abduraboo Mansur Hadi within 30 days of the agreement being signed by the opposition and the government. Within one week the idea is to form a national unity government and then within two months to have presidential elections.

Although sections of the opposition have said that they accept the plan in principle, the sticking point is still likely to be the clause which gives Saleh immunity from prosecution. Members of Saleh’s old regime who defected to the protesters seem more willing to compromise, although they say there is little trust in the idea of a national unity government.

Members of the Peaceful Youth Revolt have rejected the proposal and will continue their protests until Saleh goes and he is prosecuted. They have questioned what right others in the opposition have to accept the deal.

It is this dividing of the opposition which may be the driving force behind Saleh accepting the plan. If he can create infighting in their ranks then he is better placed to survive. He has been in power for 32 years and originally said that he would not leave office until his term runs out in 2013.

The GCC comprises the states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, all of whom are autocratic monarchies or sheikdoms with limited or no democracy of their own.

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