Yemen's Saleh Poised to Cede Power

Set to sign deal, but he's made such claims before
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2011 7:01 AM CST
Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh Poised to Step Down Amid Protests
Saleh in April.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

Yemen’s embattled president is headed to Saudi Arabia to sign a deal ceding power to the vice-president, allowing Ali Abdullah Saleh to keep his title until the country holds new elections in three months. But there’s no guarantee that Saleh, who has dropped out of such plans in the past, will follow through this time, the New York Times notes. Saleh’s journey—return date unknown—follows days of UN-brokered talks with the opposition, whose leaders are set to travel to Riyadh later today.

Saleh has faced heavy pressure from allies to step down amid protests that have erupted into violence; a number of Gulf countries brokered the latest plan. It may not be enough for demonstrators, however: Many want Saleh prosecuted for protester deaths, but the deal would protect him from such a fate. While one analyst says the deal would “end the crisis,” another notes that “Yemenis from across the political spectrum are looking for much broader and deeper political change.” (More Yemen stories.)

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