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Yemen's Saleh calls on opposition to end protests

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh wants the opposition group to end demonstrations before he steps down

Sana'a: Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh called on the opposition to end the demonstrations and sit-ins before he steps down as president.

“We call the opposition to end the demonstrations and sit-ins and road blockings,” said President Saleh on Sunday in a meeting with tribal supporters from Taiz province.

“We  are ready to talk about the peaceful transfer of the power in the framework of the constitution,” Saleh added “ but not by twisting the arms.”

Saleh might have disappointed the Islamist-led opposition coalition who were expecting him to accept what they  called the “last chance” initiative,  a  new-five point plan for Saleh  to immediately step down and  hand over all his powers to his deputy.

The assistant  secretary general of the ruling, Sultan Al Barakani, said his party did not receive an official letter from the opposition about their five-point plan.
Meanwhile, youngters staging a sit-in pressed for Saleh's immediate resignation as president.

“The only thing we care  about in this plan is the immediate step down of Saleh, but this  point  was  not clear enough to us,” said Adel Abdu Arrabyee, member of the media committee.

An oppositionleader said on Sunday that he and his supporters would march forward to the Presidential Palace if Saleh refused this “last chance” plan.

“This is the last chance for the soft going out of Saleh, but if he refused, we would march forward to the Presidential palace,” Said Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman of the  opposition coalition.

In March, Qahtan also threatened to march forward to Saleh’s “bedroom”, the matter which angered a lot of Yemenis who considered such a move unacceptable.

In the three main cities Sana’a, Aden, and Taiz, protests were building up to pressure Saleh to step down.

More than a hundred people were injured in clashes with police.

In Sana’a, hundreds of teachers planning a protest march were stopped by the army. Soldiers reportedly told the teachers that they have been given orders to shoot.

On Sunday, the Yemeni opposition agreed on a five-point plan for Saleh.  The plan is:

1) Saleh should announce his step down and transfer all his powers  to his deputy, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

2) Hadi should immediately re-structure the security agencies, the national security, the central security, and the republican guards, to make them function  according to the constitution 

3) Reach a  compromise with the new president about the transitional power through the following a transitional council; a committe of experts for constitutional reforms; formation of a national unity government chaired by the opposition; a temporary council of respected military commanders

4) Formation of high commission on elections and referendum to conduct the referendum on the new constitution and  conduct parliamentary and presidential elections.

5) Confirmation of the  right to peaceful demonstrations and expressions, and investigations into the attacks on the demonstrators especially the massacres  in Aden , Sana’a and Abyan, and put those responsible on trial and compensate the families  of those who were killed and injured.