February 17, 2012
By Associated Press,
WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says Yemen’s longtime strongman will wait for a vote next week on a new interim president before returning home.
Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in the United States since last month to receive treatment for injuries sustained in an assassination attempt last year.
The Obama administration has pressed the 69-year-old Saleh not to return until after Tuesday’s rubber-stamping of Yemen’s vice president as the new leader.
Saleh is accused of rights abuses in a crackdown on protesters. Opponents fear he’ll continue to wield power behind the scenes.
But a U.S. official says Saleh will wait until Wednesday to return. The official isn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter and demanded anonymity.
The administration hopes Yemen can become a democracy after Saleh’s 34-year autocracy.