Yemeni President Saleh Must Stop Blocking Transition | Freedom House

Yemeni President Saleh Must Stop Blocking Transition

Washington

Freedom House condemns President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s continued efforts to thwart the transition process in Yemen and calls upon him to begin the process of turning over power to an interim government until elections can be called.
 
Yesterday, supporters of Saleh, armed with guns and knives, trapped U.S., European, and Arab ambassadors as well as the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) inside the United Arab Emirates Embassy. The ambassadors, who were there to sign an agreement with Saleh on a transition of power, were transported by helicopter out of the embassy. In the capital of Sanaa, pro-government forces set up roadblocks, protesting the move to push Saleh out of power.  Opposition leaders signed the agreement on Saturday, and were waiting on Saleh’s signature. Despite several false attempts, Saleh has stalled on committing to the GCC-sponsored agreement, using a number of excuses, including the threat of an Al Qaeda takeover.
 
“By holding up the transition process, President Saleh is only exacerbating an already precarious political situation,” said Daniel Calingaert, deputy director of programs at Freedom House. “Freedom House urges Saleh to consent to the demands of his people and step aside. Failure to come to an agreement soon will only lead to further violence.”
 
Widespread demonstrations calling for Saleh’s resignation have spread throughout Yemen since February, leaving nearly 150 people dead and many injured. Saleh is under significant domestic and international pressure to resign, including by the United States. After his repeated failure to sign the agreement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Saleh of “turning his back on his commitments” and “disregarding the aspirations of the Yemeni people.” 
 
Yemen is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2011, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2010.
 
For more information on Yemen visit:
 
 
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.  
 
Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feeds.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhouse). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter.