Yemen ruling, opposition accept Gulf plan amid president's warning of civil war

15:22, April 24, 2011      

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Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivers a speech to senior military officers, security forces and cadets in Sanaa, Yemen, April 23, 2011. Saleh said on Saturday that he would not allow the opposition to start a civil war. (Xinhua Photo)

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh 's ruling party and opposition announced Saturday their official acceptance to the amended Gulf-mediated initiative of transferring power as Saleh renewed his warning of potential civil war in case of no reconciliation.

The ruling party's online website said on Saturday that Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi submitted their acceptance during the visit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua on Saturday that the JMP officially accepted the recent Gulf plan.

"We officially accept it, but we just has objections about item that the interim government to be sworn in in front of Saleh, we suggest the interim government to be formed after Saleh's resignation," he said.

After signing the Gulf plan, Saleh is set to ask opposition to form a joint national government from all parties within seven days, which is headed by the JMP. The interim government is set to be sworn in in front of Saleh who would then pass power to his deputy in exchange for immunity for him and his family, which is guaranteed by a law to be approved by the parliament.

The plan sets 30 days as deadline for Saleh to announce his resignation after transferring power to his deputy and 60 days for the transitional president and the unity government to hold presidential elections.

Yemen has witnessed three-month-old anti-government protests demanding an immediate end to the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, undermining the security and stability of the country.

Saleh has already admitted losing control of several provinces and warned of civil war and national split if he is forced to step aside.

The president, in a speech before a crowd of his supporters in Sanaa on Saturday, renewed "his warnings of civil war could be triggered by the opposition in case of hindering reconciliation."

"We will not allow the JMP to drag Yemen into civil war and bloodshed," Saleh was quoted by state Saba news agency as saying.

Saleh re-called on youth-led street protesters to form a political party according to the constitution.

Sporadic clashes, marches and civil disobedience are reportedly took place on Saturday in the country's major provinces of Aden, Tazi, Ibb, Al-Hodayda, Abyan, Hadramout, Hajja, Saada and the capital Sanaa.

"If the opposition hindered the Gulf plan, then the GCC foreign ministers, European and U.S. mediators would then suggest a last solution for all Yemeni rival political parties through holding a popular referendum about whether President Saleh to leave immediately or stay in office until his term expired in 2013," an unnamed senior government official told Xinhua on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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