March 26, 2019

Yemen President Saleh to quit in 2013

At only 64, President Saleh is a 'Spring Chicken' among Middle Eastern dictators.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he will not stand in the next presidential election due for 2013.

Mr Saleh who has been in power for over 30 years, made the announcement to parliament ahead of a planned protest march in the capital Sana’a. He promised not to pass on power to his son.

He also called on the opposition to “freeze all planned protests, rallies and sit-ins”. They of course ignored this request and the “day of rage” march was going ahead anyway according to opposition leader Mohammed al-Saadi.

Mr Saleh announced in January that he was seeking a constitutional amendment so he could be re-elected in two years time. After the downfall of the Tunisian president and the imminent fall of Mubarak in Egypt, thousands of Yemeni citizens took to the streets to demand Mr Saleh step down.

Mr Saleh has obviously decided that re-election is not such a flash idea after all. He also halved income tax and ordered price controls. He even did the old favourite of raising the government salaries especially the army.

This is all to no avail though. The cosy dictators club that has been the Middle East for decades is having a major stock clearance of rulers. Jordan is on the edge as well.

The speed of events here bears similarities with the fall of the Eastern European dictators in the early 1990’s. Many of those rulers tried to arrange a graceful exit in their own time, but the people were in no mood to negotiate.

The rich and poor divide, the rise of the internet and a global recession has combined to create an overwhelming desire for change among the ordinary citizens who are tired of having no voice.

Newswarped says good riddence to all these authoritarian rulers who have feathered their own nest for years while many of their people lived in poverty.

President Saleh made promises to stand down before the 2006 presidential elections but went back on his word. With this kind of dictator revolution is the only method of removal.

It is ironic that the official motto of Yemen is – God, Country, Revolution, Unity. The opposition party is a religious one. The smell of revolution is in the air and for now the opposition is unified in their desire to remove President Saleh. Newswarped declares him officially ‘Toast’.