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Yemeni parliament approves Saleh's immunity law

(Xinhua)

13:37, January 22, 2012

SANAA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni parliament passed Saturday a law granting outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh complete immunity from prosecution in return for his resignation, in a move to overcome the country's long-running political crisis.

The controversial law was passed unanimously, giving Saleh a blanket immunity and shielding his aides from "political motivated crimes only."

The lawmakers then generally named Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as consensus candidate for the coming presidential elections scheduled for Feb. 21, after which Hadi would run the country for the next two transitional years in accordance to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2014.

The immunity law was stipulated by the UN-backed GCC initiative that was signed by the president and the opposition in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 23, 2011.

If the deal goes through, the Yemeni veteran leader would be the fourth Arab leader to step down in the wave of massive protest movement.

The parliament's session was attended by the opposition-led cabinet Prime Minister Mohamed Basindwa, who presented the law.

According to parliament members, Basindwa burst into tears following the pass of the law, saying "he knows that the immunity law for Saleh would expose him for censure, but he is willing to sacrifice for the safety of the homeland."

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