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Yemen's new president faces mounting challenges ahead

(Xinhua)

16:56, February 25, 2012

SANAA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Following more than a year of domestic political turmoil, Yemenis elected their new president Friday night with stunning votes of 99.8 percent in his favor.

Though garnering high support in the election, the new president,Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is faced with tremendous challenges ahead as armed conflicts and terrorism still haunt his country.

OPPOSITION THREATENS SECURITY, ECONOMY

As the poorest nation in the Arab world, Yemen has long been troubled by radicalism from the Houthi Shiite rebels in the north, pro-separatism Southern Movement in the south, and a resurgent regional al-Qaida network in southern and eastern provinces.

The domestic unrest for the past year weakened the Yemeni government's control over the remote areas, offering those groups a breathing space to further expand their influence in the southern and northern regions.

Those radicals not only target government institutions, but also join tribal forces to attack oil and power transmission facilities, leading to frequent disruptions of oil and power supply.

Since the domestic unrest began last year, the capital city of Sanaa has suffered a blackout for over 15 hours every day, and for many southern provinces, daily electricity supply was less than four hours, which have pushed Yemen to the brink of economic collapse.

Meanwhile, the government ironically has to pay those tribal forces for protection to safeguard its oil pipes and electric transmission facilities.

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