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Yemeni gov't warns opposition not to form ruling council

(Xinhua)

14:17, August 11, 2011

SANAA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni government Wednesday warned the opposition not to form a council to rule the country during a transitional period without President Ali Abdullah Saleh, saying such a unilateral action will spark a civil war.

"The government warned the opposition JMP not to declare the formation of the so-called the National Ruling Council (NRC) on Aug. 17," government spokesman Abdu al-Janadi told reporters in a press conference here.

"The declaration of such a council is tantamount to a war against all the country's constitutional institutions as the unilateral action means the establishment of a state within a state, which will plunge the whole country into a civil war," said al-Janadi, who is also the government's deputy information minister.

Yemen's opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) is set to hold a meeting on Aug. 17 to declare the formation of the NRC, which it said "would head Yemen's anti-Saleh forces to accomplish the political change and rule the country during the upcoming transitional period."

Al-Janadi also said the government will hold JMP leaders responsible for potential dangerous consequences of such a move, demanding they respond positively to President Saleh's call for "a dialogue based on a Gulf-brokered initiative for transferring the power peacefully to end the country's prolonged political impasse."

"The power-transition initiative brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is still valid as strong grounds for any national dialogue between all Yemeni rivals ... and that President Saleh did not refuse to sign the GCC initiative, but he was keen on agreeing with the opposition leaders on a mechanism to implement the initiative," said al-Janadi.

The GCC initiative asked Saleh, who has been in Riyadh for treating injuries he sustained in an attack on his palace earlier June, to resign in 30 days and hold presidential elections within 60 days. Saleh has broken the initiative for three times.

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