Yemen envoy says President Saleh will hand over power to vice president

Sa’naa, Dec 22(ANI): The United Nations Special Advisor on Yemen Jamal Benomar has said that he expects President Abdullah Ali Saleh to step aside and transfer power to his deputy, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

His statement came after Saleh signed a power transferring deal last month to end his 33- year rule.

Saleh will become the fourth leader to be ousted during the Arab Spring Revolution after he is stripped of his powers following the 2012 presidential elections.

Benomar said he expects Saleh to leave the country to seek medical treatment outside Yemen for injuries suffered after surviving an assassination attempt.

“My understanding is that efforts are being made, and for arrangements to be concluded, for him to get this treatment,” The Daily Express quoted Benomar, as saying.

He said the Yemen presidential elections would definitely be held as per schedule on February 21.

Some critics pointed out that though Saleh would try his best to avoid stepping aside as per schedule, his ill- health might hasten his departure.

Describing the prevailing situation in Yemen as “highly fragile”, Benomar lauded the Hadi- led national unity government for restoring stability in the country by ordering the removal of checkpoints and the withdrawal of military forces.

According to the United Nations, hundreds of unarmed protesters have been killed and thousands wounded since protests erupted across Yemen since February. (ANI)