Yemeni president insists to stay in power until 2013

March 6, 2011 - 0:0

SANAA/ADEN (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Saturday insisted that he would remain in power until his term ends in 2013, rejecting an opposition plan for him to step aside this year.

“The peaceful and smooth transition of power is not carried out through chaos but through the will of the people expressed through elections,” an official source at the presidential office said in a statement.
The opposition on Friday said Saleh was sticking to an earlier plan to step down in 2013 but had agreed to a proposal by religious leaders to revamp elections, parliament and the judicial system.
Saleh has struggled to cement a truce with Shia rebels in the north and quell a budding secessionist rebellion in the south.
Protests have taken place across Yemen, a country of 23 million which borders the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
The protesters say they are frustrated with widespread corruption and soaring unemployment in a country where 40 percent of its 23 million people live on $2 a day or less and a third face chronic hunger.
Separately Yemen's Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Hashid Abdullah al-Ahmar, resigned from the ruling party on Saturday in protest at the use of violence against anti-government demonstrations, a source close to him told Reuters.
His resignation comes just a day after an influential ally of the president, Ali Ahmad al-Omrani, a tribal sheikh from the southern al-Baida province, resigned.
Omrani's resignation came a week after nine parliament members from the General People's Congress Party (GPC) resigned.