SANAA, Yemen, June 9 (UPI) -- Activists behind the uprising in Yemen threatened to install a provisional presidential council if political leaders block a way for a transition of power.
Even with President Ali Abdullah Saleh being treated in Saudi Arabia for burns and injuries sustained in the bombing of his compound last week, activists said they could lose the gains they made and Saleh's rule could continue in his absence, The Washington Post reported.
After the government announced that Saleh's health was improving, celebratory gunfire and fireworks erupted across Sanaa, the country's capital, Wednesday night.
The activists also criticized political parties that tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with Saleh to hand over power before Friday's attack on the presidential palace.
"We would like to announce that the JMP [Joint Meeting Parties] is part of the regime that we are seeking to remove," Tawakkol Karman, a leader of the activists, said of the coalition of six opposition groups. "In any new government, if the JMP is part of it, our revolution will continue."
Activist leaders said they think the traditional opposition parties are just as suspect as the president's supporters, the Post said.
The activists say they want an overhaul of Yemen's government and Saleh and his relatives in power to be brought to justice. The JMP, however, is pushing for a gradual transfer of power, saying it prefers a proposal by the Gulf Cooperation Council that calls for Saleh to hand over authority to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution for himself and his relatives. The vice president would create a transitional unity government, including members of Saleh's ruling party, that would govern until elections.
With the country's leadership in disarray, America's covert war in Yemen has been striking suspectedv militants with drones and fighter jets, U.S. officials told The New York Times.
Because Yemeni troops battling militants linked to al-Qaida have been redeployed to the capital, U.S. officials said they see the strikes as one of a few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.