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Yemen activists prepare for protests to demand president's ouster

Arab World Materials 6 May 2011 14:27
Opposition activists demanding the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh are preparing for nationwide protests after Friday mid-day prayers across the country.
Yemen activists prepare for protests to demand president's ouster

Opposition activists demanding the ouster of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh are preparing for nationwide protests after Friday mid-day prayers across the country.

"I am going to join the protesters to seek the president's departure," Osama, a 30-year-old private sector employee told the German Press Agency dpa.

"We want real freedom and equality and to institute a democracy where all the democratic principles are implemented in full."

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis are expected to take to the streets on Friday, with protesters in the capital Sana'a planning a march to the city's main Sabeen Square.

Pro-government supporters, while much fewer in number, are also planning protests in the capital in support of the embattled president, who has been in power for 32 years.

Earlier this week, Saleh backtracked on statements indicating he had accepted a Gulf proposal to step down and transfer his powers to his vice president a government of national unity.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said it continues to work on getting both the opposition and Saleh to sign the deal as a solution to preserve stability and security in Yemen, the Bahrain news agency reported.

However, activists on the street have said they disapprove of the deal, which guarantees Saleh immunity from legal prosecution for the deaths of over 100 protesters since the uprising began earlier this year.

Under the proposed deal, the president also retains the right to remain as head of the ruling party.

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