By Vivian Salama -
May 9, 2011
Yemen is “collapsing” amid a political stalemate between the ruling General People’s Congress and opposition groups seeking to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh, said Yasin Said Numan, secretary general of Yemen’s opposition Socialist Party.
To avoid “catastrophic consequences,” Saleh and the Gulf Cooperation Council should immediately sign a GCC-brokered plan that would grant the president immunity if he steps down 30 days afterward, Numan said today in a telephone interview from Sana’a, Yemen’s capital.
Numan was prime minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen from 1986 until unification of north and south Yemen in 1990.
On the GCC peace plan:
“The GCC plan should be implemented as soon as possible. We don’t have time to waste. We will have 60 days to elect a new president once the two sides sign.
‘‘In that time, the economic situation and the security situation we are facing here need to be considered. The people in the streets are refusing any delay. If there is a delay, we will witness catastrophic consequences.’’
‘‘This country without this regime will be much better off than it is now. People need to know that this regime has created a lot of problems for this country.’’
On Yemen’s economic situation:
‘‘There is no cooking gas, no petrol, things are vanishing and if things continue this way, we will learn what a real crisis is. The country is collapsing everywhere.
‘‘We have considerable resources, maybe not enough, but considerable. If you look at the aid and financial aid that have been given to this regime over the recent period -- it’s been substantial, but the people have not seen a penny.
‘‘The problems of this economy will first be overcome if we get rid of corruption. One of the biggest problems in this country is corruption.’’