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Published on November 24th, 2011 | by Joe Hinds
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="While The Face Of Ali Abdullah Saleh May Have Gone His Regime Remains Intact © BUSI2010"][/caption] Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 69, yesterday signed a historic deal which will see him step down as President after more than 30 years in power. Saleh will now transfer power to his deputy, Abdrabuh Manur Hadi, within 30 days, with presidential elections guaranteed to take place within three months. The decision by Saleh to step down following 10 months of popular protest within Yemen marks the fourth dictator to fall following the Arab Spring Protests but has so far received a mixed response from the people Yemen as he will gain immunity from prosecution as part of the deal. While thousands on the streets happily celebrated the end of Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33 year regime yesterday there has already been further protests by Yemeni citizens against the agreement, which ensures Saleh and his family receive full immunity from any prosecution for his actions whilst in power. This comes as a huge blow for so many Yemeni people who have suffered under the dictator's rule and will particularly anger thousands of protesters who want to see him face justice for his response to earlier protests in which his security crackdowns left hundreds of protesters dead. Already today five protesters have been killed and a further 25 have been injured in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, when forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh intercepted anti-government protests calling for the prosecution of the president and opened fire on them. Witnesses at the scene claim that "the firing took place when the protesters shouted slogans against Saleh, including calls for prosecuting him." Before today's crackdown there were strong doubts over what exactly Saleh's resignation would mean for Yemen, as it is likely to result in very little change for the large part of the country. Even with the former President gone, Yemen still has a parliament in which the General People's Congress (Saleh's political party), holds an overwhelming majority. Whilst the parliament has no real mandate and very little legitimacy it currently remains the body with the task of approving candidates for presidential elections and as a result very little change is likely from their choice of candidate for the upcoming election. Until Yemen form a more effective parliament it seems unlikely that there will be any major change to the status quo of the country, with merely a change of face for the ruling elite a more likely outcome. The response to today protests, following the resignation of Saleh,only serves to confirm this and compounds that an even bigger problem for the people of Yemen now faces them - whilst the president may have gone his regime, and all it stands for, remains intact.

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Yemeni President To Step Down – But Only In Return For Immunity From Prosecution

While The Face Of Ali Abdullah Saleh May Have Gone His Regime Remains Intact © BUSI2010

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 69, yesterday signed a historic deal which will see him step down as President after more than 30 years in power. Saleh will now transfer power to his deputy, Abdrabuh Manur Hadi, within 30 days, with presidential elections guaranteed to take place within three months. The decision by Saleh to step down following 10 months of popular protest within Yemen marks the fourth dictator to fall following the Arab Spring Protests but has so far received a mixed response from the people Yemen as he will gain immunity from prosecution as part of the deal.

While thousands on the streets happily celebrated the end of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33 year regime yesterday there has already been further protests by Yemeni citizens against the agreement, which ensures Saleh and his family receive full immunity from any prosecution for his actions whilst in power. This comes as a huge blow for so many Yemeni people who have suffered under the dictator’s rule and will particularly anger thousands of protesters who want to see him face justice for his response to earlier protests in which his security crackdowns left hundreds of protesters dead.

Already today five protesters have been killed and a further 25 have been injured in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, when forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh intercepted anti-government protests calling for the prosecution of the president and opened fire on them. Witnesses at the scene claim that “the firing took place when the protesters shouted slogans against Saleh, including calls for prosecuting him.”

Before today’s crackdown there were strong doubts over what exactly Saleh’s resignation would mean for Yemen, as it is likely to result in very little change for the large part of the country. Even with the former President gone, Yemen still has a parliament in which the General People’s Congress (Saleh’s political party), holds an overwhelming majority. Whilst the parliament has no real mandate and very little legitimacy it currently remains the body with the task of approving candidates for presidential elections and as a result very little change is likely from their choice of candidate for the upcoming election. Until Yemen form a more effective parliament it seems unlikely that there will be any major change to the status quo of the country, with merely a change of face for the ruling elite a more likely outcome.

The response to today protests, following the resignation of Saleh,only serves to confirm this and compounds that an even bigger problem for the people of Yemen now faces them – whilst the president may have gone his regime, and all it stands for, remains intact.

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