SANAA: Officials from Yemen’s ruling party and the opposition said on Tuesday that they would head to Riyadh on Monday next week to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) power-transfer deal as its secretary-general postponed the signing date from Wednesday to May 2.
Opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua that they were informed that the gulf council has put off the meeting until Monday and that they will send representatives of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) to Riyadh to sign the deal, under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh would leave office within 30 days after inking the agreement.
Earlier, Tarik al-Shami, the Yemeni ruling party’s spokesman, told Xinhua that they have received the invitation and will go to the Saudi capital to sign the deal as well.
Saleh’s ruling General People’s Congress party last week accepted the deal in full, while the JMP sent their approval to GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani late on Monday.
The plan specifies that the JMP will form a national unity government within seven days after signing the deal.
It also says that Saleh must leave office within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution and the new government must arrange presidential and parliamentary elections within 60 days.
Anti-government slogans were echoed simultaneously on Tuesday by tens of thousands of protesters in the capital Sanaa and the provinces of Al-Hodayda, Taiz, Ibb, Al-Bayda, Hadramout and Aden, according to witnesses.
Deadly clashes took place in southern province of Taiz, some 200 kilometers south of Sanaa, where protester Mazin Abdullah was shot dead by snipers and 13 others were injured, a witness told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The clashes erupted after tens of thousands of protesters packed the streets of Taiz to protest the opposition’s full acceptance of the deal despite repeated demands for an immediate end to Saleh’s 33-year rule and for his and his aides’ prosecution, the witness added.
In the southern main port city of Aden, four protesters were wounded when police opened fire in an attempt to put down Tuesday’s protest, a local police official told Xinhua.
In the Red Sea province of Al-Hodayda, at least eight protesters were injured in clashes after demonstrators marched through the streets and shouted slogans against Saleh, said a local law-enforcement officer on Tuesday.