April 11, 2011
By Mohammed Hatem and Vivian Salama
April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Yemeni protesters called for the rejection of a Gulf Arab plan under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh would transfer power to his vice president and the opposition would lead a unity government.
Using a loudspeaker before tens of thousands of demonstrators in the capital of Sana’a today, a protest organizer read a statement on behalf of the opposition, saying that Saleh should step down immediately and that any dialogue he may have should be with the “martyrs” of the country’s political crisis.
The Gulf Cooperation Council called for the transition of power to Vice President Abduraboo Mansur Hadi and the creation of an opposition-led national unity government, Abdel Latif al Zayyani, secretary general of the GCC, told reporters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, late yesterday. Yemen’s government hasn’t made any decision yet on whether to accept the proposal, Saleh’s spokesman, Ahmed al-Sufi, said today in a telephone interview.
After almost three months of protests in Yemen, the poorest Arab country, elements of Saleh’s army, government and tribal base have abandoned him. At least 662 Yemenis, including 24 children, have been killed since Feb. 18, the United Nations Children’s Fund said yesterday.