February 23, 2012
The inauguration of Yemen's newly- elected president, likely to be incumbent Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, will take place on Monday, which officially marks the end of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, Yemeni government officials said on Thursday.
"The inauguration of Saleh's successor is set for Monday in a grand ceremony that will be attended by outgoing President Saleh who will hand over the presidential palace to Hadi," said Abdu al- Janadi, Yemen's deputy information minister and spokesman of Saleh 's General People's Congress (GPC) party.
Saleh, who agreed to step down under a UN-backed deal in November last year in return for immunity from prosecution, left Yemen for New York last month for medical treatment. He was injured in a bomb attack on his palace on June 3, 2011, and was hospitalized for months in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Al-Janadi did not give exact date for Saleh's return, but he told Xinhua that the veteran leader will lead his GPC party, as well as "take responsible for making new leaders prepare themselves for running presidential elections in the future after the end of Hadi's two-year interim period."
Meanwhile, electoral officials told reporters Thursday that the results of the one-candidate presidential vote will be officially declared this evening at 20:00 local time (1700 GMT).
Hadi is widely expected to win the high-turnout landmark vote. So far, initial reports put the turnout at about 80 percent.
66-year-old Hadi has pledged to launch reforms during his transitional term and asked for international aid. He is set to launch a national dialogue with all political factions in Yemen after he takes office, as well as pay more attention to combat the resurgents of al-Qaida off-shoot.
The early presidential election came as part of a negotiated settlement initiated by neighboring oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with the aim of ending the one-year-old massive protests against Saleh.
The election, which was boycotted by northern Houthi-led Shiite rebels and southern separatist group, won support from the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the United States, and the GCC countries.