Yemen

Yemeni president back-pedals on life presidency bid

Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is under increasing pressure to step down, said Wednesday that he will freeze constitutional amendments which would allow him to be president for life.

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Saleh said “no to hereditary rule and no to life presidency”, during an emergency session of parliament and the consultative council ahead of a "day of rage" organised for Thursday by opposition groups.

The veteran president, whose term is due to end in 2013, called for the parliamentary opposition Common Forum to stop the street protests.

Yemeni people have been spilling into the streets since parliament, which is dominated by Saleh’s General People’s Congress, proposed a constitutional amendment which if passed would allow Saleh to remain in office for life.

After popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, which have respectively ousted and threatened to oust those countries’ presidents, Saleh has taken steps to calm popular discontent by increasing wages, cutting income tax and setting up a fund for university graduates.

 

 

 

 

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