Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yemen opposition forms national council

File photo shows anti-government protesters saluting as they chant Yemen's national anthem during a rally to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Source: Press TV

The Yemeni opposition has formed a broad coalition tasked with leading the country's popular revolution towards the removal of Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime from power.

The 800 representatives of different opposition groups elected the 143-member National Council for the Forces of the Peaceful Revolution on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The move marked a notable blow to the unpopular 33-year-old government, which has been facing countrywide protests since January.

The development comes only one day after Saleh vowed to return to Yemen soon. He is currently being treated for injuries he received in a June 3 RPG attack on the presidential palace in Saudi Arabia.

"The National Council will lead the forces of the revolution, determined to stand strong until Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure," said a key opposition leader, Sultan al-Atwani.

The council includes members of the parliamentary opposition umbrella of the Common Forum, the young protesters, and the north-based Shia minority, which has for long been repressed by the government and Saudi Arabia.

The members will now vote for a 20-member executive committee.

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