Yemeni president orders to start initiative of power transfer

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered Friday the National Defense Council to commence implementing the latest reform initiative he offered to the opposition on Thursday to prepare transferring power to the parliament by the end of this year, official Saba news agency reported.

Saleh made the order during a meeting with the government, senior security officials and army members of the country's highest National Defense Council in the capital Sanaa.

The president, who has been in power for 33 years and is facing growing demands for his stepping down from thousands of protesters across major cities, renewed his calls for the opposition to resume dialogue, according to Saba.

The National Defense Council directed the government to hastily take measures to offer 60,000 job opportunities, which Saleh declared earlier, for university graduates across Yemen as of March 12, Saba said.

Saleh announced his latest reform offer on Thursday, promising to hold a referendum on the constitution this year, including a new election law, to prepare for transferring power to the parliament.

It was also stated that a full-power local government system would be developed on the basis of financial and administrative decentralization.

Saleh then called for the protesters to end their rallies for the sake of the country and directed his government to meet their demands.


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