11/24/2011, 00.00
YEMEN
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Saleh signs over power ending Yemeni regime after 33 years

The ceremony was held yesterday in Riyadh, in the presence of Saudi King Abdullah. Immunity has been granted to the outgoing president in exchange for the transfer of power, within 30 days, to the vice president. But for some in the country it is too little.
Sanaa (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement in Riyadh last night for the transfer of power, in the presence of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The plan, which was sponsored by the Gulf countries, puts an end to his personal power which lasted 33 years, and a bloody struggle over the past ten months, which has caused dozens of deaths and injuries. King Abdullah hailed the handover as "a new chapter" in what is one of the poorest countries in the region.

The Saudi state television broadcast the ceremony live, followed with great interest in Yemen, where some opponents even hurled their shoes at the TV screens when the 69 year-old president appeared. Under the agreement, Saleh steps down within 30 days handing over power to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who will negotiate with the opposition. Saleh has been granted immunity. In a statement Saleh called the protests of recent months, "a coup against the constitution," and added, however. "We hoped that the peaceful transfer of power would take place in a democratic way. We welcome an agreement with the opposition to handle the affairs of the country and rebuild what the crisis has destroyed. "

Saleh was injured in an attack last June (06/06/2011 Yemenis celebrate Saleh’s departure, but doubt linger over his possible return) and spent several months in Saudi Arabia for treatment. Over the next few days he will leave for the United States for medical reasons. Groups of demonstrators camped out yesterday in what was called "Square of Change" demanding that Saleh assign powers immediately, and not after 30 days. Other protesters danced in the streets as a sign of joy.
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