Yemen Protests End Incident Free
The planned protests on Thursday by both anti-Saleh and pro-Saleh have concluded peacefully in Yemen’s capital Sanaa. Saleh’s opponents called to observe a “day of rage” on Thursday demanding Mr Saleh to step down. Nearly 20,000 people marched in Sanaa asking for political reforms and more rights. They rejected Saleh’s offer of not contesting in 2013 when his tenure ends.
The same numbers of people are reported organizing another rally in another part of the city, Sanaa. They demanded Saleh to remain in power. However, they demand Mr Saleh to fulfill his pledge of carrying out reforms at the earliest. It was reported that the supporters are organized by the government from the nearby villages of the capital Sanaa, after the opponents have called for a “day of rage.”
In an emergency parliament session on Wednesday, Mr Saleh, 64, laid out his plans to move aside, saying he would not seek to extend his presidency when his current term expires in 2013 and pledging not pass on power to his son. The "day of rage" was organised by civil
society groups and opposition leaders protesting against mounting poverty among a growing, young population. Yemen’s unemployment stands at 40% and food prices are rising while children suffer from acute malnutrition.
President Saleh, a Western ally, became leader of North Yemen in 1978, and has ruled the Republic of Yemen since the north and south merged in 1990. He was last re-elected in 2006. Mr Saleh has made a series of concessions after popular uprising in Tunisia. He halved income tax ordered his government to see that the prices are controlled. He pledged to raise the salaries of civil servants and military personnel by around $47 (£29) a month.