Yemen’s president pledges not to resign

Yemen’s president pledges not to resign
# 03 April 2011 00:11 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh pledged on Saturday that he will not resign as long as the majority of people stand by him, accusing opposition leaders of being behind weeks-long bloodshed, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"Those jugglers and liars (opposition’s leaders) have no sense of shame. As a party, it said that the dialogue is over, and that the president conflicts with his own people," Saleh told thousands of supporters who gathered near the presidential palace, according to the official Saba news agency.

"If all those millions of people from Taiz, Hodeidah, Hadramout, Hajjah, Ibb, Mahwait, Amran, Dhamar, Raymah, if all those millions from the republic’s provinces are in a conflict with the president, then the president should step down within hours," Saleh said, cited by Saba.

"It is not in accordance to legitimate right for a minority to impose its will on the majority. It is not possible in any case that the minority (opposition) twists the arm of the majority," he told the gathering.

"Ninety-five percent of the general population support security and stability." The embattled president charged the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) leaders with being behind current political crisis that has been rapidly escalating. He also accused JMP leaders of being the plotters behind the massacre of March 18 in the capital that left 52 protesters dead, according to Saba.

"The JMP leaders are responsible for the regrettable events of Friday [March 18 ]. They are responsible for the pure blood that was shed in Taiz, Abyan, Sanaa, and other provinces," Saleh told the crowds, adding "they are behind this crisis, and they are responsible for causing panic and unrest among citizens." "The JMP’s illegitimate ambitions and uncivilized behavior are the reasons behind the crisis, and they want to reach power by coups," he said.

Besides mounting Egypt-style protests, the impoverished Yemen is facing years-long Houthi-led Shiite rebellion in its northern region.

It also has been trying to quell a separatist movement in the south and resurgent al-Qaida wing in southern and eastern provinces.

"They are all allies: the al-Qaida, Houthis, separatists, JMP, and all of them have joined forces so as to overthrow the political system. Overthrowing the political system will lead to disunity," the president said.

The president recently summoned his loyalists each Friday to hold rally in Sanaa and said the majority of the people supported him. Meanwhile, he stopped offering any more concessions to the opposition.

The president and the opposition have reached a deadlock in their negotiations of searching solutions for a peaceful end for Saleh’s rule and smoothly transferring the power.

Both sides have been trading accusations of hindering the conciliation talks. The standoff resulted in deterioration of economic situation as well as security stability this month after the government pulled the police out from some towns. The large absence of police and security in some southern provinces led anti-government protesters to set up militia for self-defense, while well-armed resurgent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) seized control over some remote areas.
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