Sunday, July 17, 2011

Anti-regime Yemenis form shadow govt.

Yemeni anti-regime protest leader Tawakul Karman

Source: Press TV

Anti-regime protesters in Yemen say they have formed a shadow government to run the country, should the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh collapse.

Young anti-regime protesters, who have set up camps in a square in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a since February, made the announcement on Saturday.

The former civil society leaders and government officials are also included in the shadow government, which consists of a 17-member transitional presidential council, the protest leader Tawakul Karman announced.

The council "is charged with leading the country during a transition period not to exceed nine months and with forming a government of technocrats," Karman said.

Karman further added that the council will soon choose a leader and announce a 501-member shadow parliament that will seek to draft a new constitution.

The council will further seek to unify all opposition leaders.

"We decided to announce the formation of the presidential council in the wake of rumors that Saleh will return on Sunday or Monday," Hashem al-Ibara, an official in a youth opposition coalition said.

His comments came after deputy Information Minister Abdo al-Janadi said on Saturday that Saleh will return to Yemen as soon as he is in “good health”. Janadi added that Saleh is currently waiting for the approval of his doctors.

Saleh and five other high ranking Yemeni officials fled to Saudi Arabia for treatment following a rocket attack on the Yemeni presidential palace on June 3.

Saleh, who is reported to be suffering from some 40 percent burn damages to his body, has since then been receiving treatment in a Saudi hospital.

Yemeni Vice President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, who is the acting president in the absence of Saleh, has so far resisted intensive local and international pressure to heed the demands of protesters to set up an interim ruling council.

John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's top counter terrorism-advisor, has said that the White House has called on Saleh to accept a [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council that would end his rule within 30 days in exchange of immunity from prosecution.

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