Sana'a, August 15, 2011- The GCC-brokered plan for power transition in Yemen has been modified for the sixth time amid mounting external pressure on President Saleh to sign it and amid growing concerns about the situation in the country.
The UAE Al-Bayan newspaper quoted Yemeni diplomats as saying that essential amendments had been made to the plan focused on the mechanism to implement it and approving a two-phase transition period that guarantees Saleh’s exit through elections.
The diplomats, who asked not to be identified, said the amendments had been suggested by the UN envoy who visited Yemen weeks ago to bridge the gap between the Yemeni parties and help bring a solution to the Yemeni crisis. “Under the fresh amendment the transitional period shall consist of two phases,” the paper reported on Sunday.
During the first phase that shall complete by the end of the year, the ruling party and the opposition shall agree to elect Vice President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi as head of Yemen.
“And the second phase will be two years during which amendments to the constitution would be approved and the regime changed until new parliamentary elections are held,” the paper said.
President Saleh, convalescing in Saudi Arabia after a June assassination attempt in his compound, is facing mounting pressure by the U.S., the EU and Saudi Arabia to sign the deal, coinciding with reports that he had written the U.S. administration to show his readiness to do that and stay in Saudi Arabia.
The president, whose regime has been facing month-long protests seeking its ouster in most Yemeni cities, has also been warned not to return home, amid fears his return might lead to more violence.
Saleh had backed out of signing the GCC West-backed deal three times at the last minute.
Meantime, Saleh, who was reported days ago to have set new conditions to sign the deal, continued to maneuver as he refused a condition set by the opposition calling for restructuring the armed and security forces before holding any elections.
The Yemeni diplomats were also quoted as saying that Saleh will transfer power to his deputy, Hadi, from Saudi Arabia and that the opposition will be responsible for forming a national unity government.
But the Joint Meeting Parties, the opposition bloc, insists on restructuring the armed and security forces before any presidential elections or any procedure to start the transition period in Yemen to ensure there will be national forces to protect their agreement with the ruling party.
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