Monday, August 22, 2011

Yemen Opposition Council Downplays Southern Leaders' Withdrawal

Sana'a, August 21, 2011-Yemeni opposition National Council, formed Wednesday to unite opposition groups' efforts to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh, downplayed the withdrawal of the southern leaders, spokeswoman Houria Mash-Hur said Sunday.

Some 23 leaders from southern regions, who were among the opposition's newly-established 143-member National Council, announced in a joint statement their withdrawal as "complain of being marginalized," saying that "the council lacked equality in members between the north and south."

"The mission of our council, which included representatives from all opposition groups, is to achieve the revolution's goals and oust President Saleh, not to discuss such equality between the north and south," Mash-Hur told Xinhua.

Mash-Hur was chosen as spokeswoman while 19 others were elected Saturday by the 143-member National Council as members of the council's higher executive board. The 20-member board chose the president of the National Dialogue Committee of the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) Mohammed Basindwah as chairman.

"The door is still widely open for anyone who has desire to work with us to realize the revolution's objectives, which mainly focus now on overthrowing Saleh's regime and then addressing the long-running issues of southern provinces, northern Shiite rebels and the abolition of the policy of marginalization," Mash-Hur said.

Veteran Saleh, who has been in Saudi Arabia for rehabilitation from wounds he sustained in June assassination bomb attack on his palace, lashed out at the opposition in a TV speech last Tuesday, vowing to return to Sanaa "very soon."

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