SANAA: Yemen’s president named his chief of staff as premier Tuesday, a move rejected by Shiite rebels who overran the capital two weeks ago and whose departure the move was meant to have hastened.
Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi issued a decree naming Ahmed Awad Mubarak after meeting his advisers — including a rebel representative — and they agreed on the nomination, the official Saba news agency reported.
The rebels, known as Huthis from the name of their leading family, stormed into Sanaa in on September 21 and established a strong military presence, mounting patrols and manning checkpoints.
A UN-sponsored ceasefire deal was subsequently signed that also provided for the withdrawal of the rebels from Sanaa, once a neutral prime minister was named, their disarmament and revitalisation of the political transition.
Tuesday’s nomination came two weeks later than it should have under the deal, while the insurgents have refused to pull out despite terms that gave them more influence with the Sunni-dominated government.
A senior Yemeni official said of Mubarak that “he seems to enjoy the confidence of President Hadi and does not appear to have been rejected by the rebel representatives and other political forces.”
But shortly afterwards the rebel politburo said “we strongly reject this nomination, which is not in accord with the will of the nation and does not respond to the wishes of the people.
“This appointment is at the behest of outside forces, a denial of national sovereignty and… the rule of consensus that must direct the process of political transition,” a statement added, without elaborating.