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Saleh says to return home to vote in presidential elections

(Xinhua)

08:49, February 08, 2012

SANAA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, currently in the United States for medical treatment, said on Tuesday that he will return home to vote in the upcoming presidential elections, the state-run Saba news agency reported.

Saleh said he would return immediately after the completion of his treatment in New York.

The Yemeni leader was seriously injured in a bomb attack targeting his palace on June 3, 2011, for which he was hospitalized for months in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Saleh's remarks came hours after his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the sole candidate for the Feb. 21 presidential polls, launched his advertising campaign in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

Saleh left Yemen last month after the parliament approved a law granting him complete immunity from prosecution in accordance to a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Despite the agreed political settlement, the deal's immunity clause sparked nationwide protests demanding Saleh and his aides be prosecuted for "killing people during the year of protests."

Washington granted Saleh diplomatic immunity and a limited visa for him to seek medical treatment in the United States.

Under the GCC deal signed by Saleh and the opposition last November, after months of deadly protests aimed at his ouster, Saleh should resign in return for immunity from prosecution.

After 33 years in power, Saleh remains to be an honorary leader until Hadi is officially elected as president for a two-year interim period.

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