Sana'a, I am speaking to you over the Yemeni satellite TV stations on the latest developments. Yesterday, in the parliament, the immunity law was endorsed and Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi was unanimously nominated to assume the presidency until 2014, which is a positive achievement.
There seems to be misunderstanding over the immunity law, as some see that the first beneficiary of such a law is the president himself or his relatives. This is untrue and a deep misunderstanding.
The beneficiary of this law issued in line with the Gulf initiative - which we appreciate - are all those who worked side-by-side with the president during 33 years, whether in civilian, military, or security state institutions.
Mistakes were committed, but they were not intentional, as the president enjoys an immunity inspired from his own people. The president spent all his life serving the country. He has not been seeking glory or coveting high-rank positions. He only sought to serve this country
My ambition was to offer myself and offer services for the sake of the country. Services have been provided indeed in the fields of development, national infrastructure, and oil, gas, and metal prospection.
On top of these services lies the most prominent achievement in Ali Abdullah Saleh life: the restoration of Yemen's unity on 22 May 1990, which I view as a crown on the heads of all Yemenis.
Before this Yemeni historic national achievement, the country was experiencing a rift that lasted for over 135 years. The imamate injustice was raging in the north and the colonization injustice was raging in the south, but the ties of the Yemeni family remained closely knit.
Despite the colonization and the clerical rule in the north, the Yemenis remained close to each other countrywide, and thus unity naturally emerged over time, without facing any problems.
I would like to say on this occasion that I approved the departure of Ali Abdullah Saleh from power by approving earlier the Gulf initiative concluded in Riyadh. I delegated all my powers to the constitutional vice president who will bear responsibility until his election on 22 February.
I call upon all Yemenis to rally around the vice president and cooperate with him and with the national consensus government in the country's interest to restore and reform what was destroyed during 11 months. As for the years to come, the vice president will have his own platform and he stands from now as the president of the future.
I wish that everyone will stand by his side. Supporting him and the government is tantamount to supporting the country and our martyrs, the ones of September and October and others who fell during the so-called youth revolution and protests that took place during 11 months.
We do not need to be too long on this matter. During 11 months, roads and streets have been blocked, electricity has been cut, and an oil pipeline has been bombed. The youth revolution has been hijacked. There were also those who were once affiliated with the General People's Congress [GPC] and defected it because they are corrupt and think they are now victorious. We will leave these matters aside and turn our back to the events of the past.
From this place and standing as I am next to GPC leaders, the sons of this country and the sons of September, October, and 22 May, I call on all sides to remain united and achieve reconciliation and openness. But this call excludes situations involving terrorism which should be dealt with at another level.
I am calling for openness and reconciliation in the aftermath of the Gulf initiative, as part of a general national conference. People should make it up with each other, armed manifestations should be lifted, roads should reopen, militarization and militias should disappear, so that we can rebuild a new Yemen.
Poor youths! They have been spending months in the protests! O youths, return to your homes, return to your homes! Return to your families! I have pity on you and I am asking you to return to your homes and open a new page with the new leadership in place.
I am also calling on the GPC leaders, members and supporters as well as the National Democratic Alliance parties to take a serious stand towards the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 21 February and exert their best efforts for this event.
This will not be Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi's achievement, but the achievement of all Yemenis. This will be your own accomplishment, o GPC members, who achieved this democratic victory. I am asking you to head to the ballot boxes without delay to elect your candidate, who will be the candidate of reconciliation and the GPC's candidate as well.
We have already tried in previous elections to coordinate with other political parties and we know well what such coordination involves.
Despite their promises to elect and support the GPC candidate, the empty ballot boxes we found out exposed their real intentions. I rely on you, o GPC members and NDA parties, to fill the ballot boxes with voting cards
I thank our own people, men and women, for their sincere stands and for enduring hunger, power cuts, shortage of services and many other issues for 11 months.
I ask for pardon from all my people, men and women, for any shortcomings during my 33-year-long rule. I also ask for forgiveness and offer my apologies to all Yemeni citizens, men and women. We have now to focus on our martyrs and wounded people.
Again, I am sending my regards and appreciation to all Yemenis, domestically and aboard, for their outstanding steadfastness and ask them to return to their homes and remain calm.
God willing, I will leave the country to seek medical treatment in the United States, before returning to Sanaa as head of the GPC. We will inaugurate Abdo Rabbo Hadi as head of state after 21 February in the Presidential Palace. We will play the hymn of national peace and sing the national anthem, in a ceremony held in the Presidential Palace and attended by senior officials. The vice president will then take over the presidential compound while Ali Abdullah Saleh will lift his suitcase, bid the attendance farewell, and return home, according to the established protocol
Responsibility has now been granted to brother Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi. On this occasion, I would like to announce to you from here, that this man has been promoted to the rank of general, in respect and appreciation of his stands and national efforts.