Al Mukalla: The internationally recognised president of Yemen and his deputy will not step down or hand over their powers to new leaders until their previously stated conditions are met, a close aide to the president told Gulf News.
Before taking any new steps, the government will demand that Al Houthis fully withdraw from main cities and hand over arms, and that Yemenis vote for a new constitution and a new president, the aide to president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi told Gulf News on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief reporters.
The government official was responding to media reports saying the latest UN-proposed draft agreement presented to Al Houthis suggests the resignation of Ali Mohsin Al Ahmar, vice-president, and Hadi becoming a figurehead leader after passing his powers to a new consensus vice-president.
“President Hadi’s resignation is out of the question until Al Houthis first put into effect UN Security Council resolution 2216, a new constitution is approved and an election is held,” Hadi’s aide said on Friday.
Hadi is currently based in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
“What the UN envoy presented to Al Houthis are initial ideas and the government has the right to accept or reject them,” said the aide.
The aide said UN envoy Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad might discuss the new proposal with Hadi and his deputy when he meets them in Riyadh in the coming days. Leaks that Hadi would become a leader in name only after Al Houthis accept the new proposal have triggered angry responses from the government, Hadi-allied governors and other officials.
Prime minister Ahmad Bin Daghar and his cabinet ministers vowed to reject any peace plan that does not require Al Houthis to disarm and leave cities ahead of establishing a new governing body. Limited protests took place in some southern cities rejecting the new proposal, which Al Houthis are yet to respond to. Some senior figures in the group however urged their leaders to reject the plan as it would defang their movement.
Fighting between government forces and Al Houthis raged on Friday in Nehim district, outside the capital and in Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city. In Nehim, government forces said they, with the help of warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition, recaptured hilly positions after heavy clashes with Al Houthis. The clashes raged for two consecutive days and claimed lives of several fighters on both sides. Similarly, at least a dozen Al Houthis and government loyalists were killed on Thursday and Friday in clashes in the city of Taiz.