Yemeni president Saleh will offer ‘no more concessions’ and decides to stay till 2013 after all

Posted on | maart 28, 2011 | No Comments

President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen has made several promises over the past weeks. First he said he would step down at the end of 2013, then it was 2012, after that 2011, and the past days the news was that he was even discussing to hand over power immediately, as soon as he knew that there was someone trustworthy to hand it over to.

But no, this Sunday the president held a defiant speech for the members of his ruling party, the Genereal People Congress (GPC). There will be no more concessions, he said, and he wil stay till the end of his mandate:

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Sunday that he would not offer more concessions in future. This came in President Saleh’s speech at the fourth session of the General People’s Congress (GPC)’s Standing Committee held Sunday in the Police College in the capital Sana’a and attended by over one thousand GPC members.

He noted that all concessions have been made by him so far were not decided individually, but in coordination and agreement with the GPC’s leadership. He said,” When we respond to demands is not out of weakness but to avoid destabilization security of the homeland , bloodshed and killing of souls.”
In his speech, Saleh referred to the importance of this session, which is being held under difficult conditions experienced by the homeland.
He reviewed the latest developments over the past two months that led to the recent crisis, pointing that since the presidential election in 2006, the situation escalates gradually within the Yemeni arena, demonstrations and sit-ins.

Democracy means that people breathe and talk reasonably within national principles, but they went too far and misunderstood democracy, he added.
“I derive my strength from the people, not from the tank”, he said.

Saleh stated that al-Qaeda, Houthi rebels, joint meeting parties (JMP) and those who left the army have become in an alliance against the regime and the majority. He emphasized “if we stand up together to face this challenge, the crisis will end.”

The president warned of sectarian and tribal strife if the opposition continued to reject the solutions provided by him, including his acceptance of the eight points presented by scholars and what came in his recent initiatives at the parliament and the general national congress.

The one who must depart is the one who conspires on the country, not the owner of constitutional legitimacy, said Saleh. “Brothers in the opposition propose a condition that if the president departs power, he should not communicate with the people, and this reflects their fears”, said Saleh expressing his regret for such intransigent conditions. He renewed the call for dialogue and agreement on a peaceful transfer of power.

The president got the backing of his party because the Yemen Post reported:

Yemen’s ruling General People Congress party, (GPC), affirmed on Sunday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will stay until his presidential term expires in 2013.

In a statement by the ruling party which came after a meeting President Saleh had with members of the GPC, it discussed the ongoing political crisis and affirmed Saleh’s right to stay in power. The statement renewed the calls for the opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Party, JMP, to resume dialogue for the sake of the country.

President Saleh has been facing escalating protests since mid February demanding the fall of Saleh’s regime.

AUTHOR: Martin Hijmans
E-MAIL: m.hijmans [at]


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