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Opposition rejects Saleh's offer to stand down by 2012

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-03-22

The opposition coalition in Yemen has rejected an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stand down by January 2012, once parliamentary elections have taken place, saying that the "coming hours" will be decisive for the country.

A coalition of Yemeni opposition groups rejected Tuesday an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh – facing growing demands to resign – to leave office after parliamentary elections, which he said would be organised by January 2012.

"The opposition rejects the offer as the coming hours will be decisive," Mohammed al-Sabry, spokesman for the main umbrella opposition group, told Reuters.
 
Saleh said earlier on Tuesday that he would leave office only after organising parliamentary elections, refusing to hand over power without knowing who would succeed him, an aide said.
 
"President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he will hand over power through (parliamentary) elections and the formation of democratic institutions at the end of 2011 or January 2012," Saleh's media secretary Ahmed al-Sufi told Reuters. "Ali Abdullah Saleh does not seek power. Ali Abdullah Saleh will not leave without knowing who he is handing over to."

 

Date created : 2011-03-22

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