Yemen's President Could Finally Step Down Today

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Yemen's President Could Finally Step Down Today
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Yemen's President Could Finally Step Down Today

Update (11:22 a.m. EDT)- Saleh has stepped down and as part of the agreement, has immunity from prosecution. "The plan calls for a power transfer to Saleh’s vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, within 30 days and early presidential elections within 90 days of the signing. It also calls for a two-year transition period," reports the AP.

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Update (11:03 a.m. EDT)-Yemeni President Saleh is signing the transfer of power deal, live on Saudi State TV, reports Reuters. NPR's Andy Carvin has confirmed that Saleh has stepped down, making him the fourth Arab leader ousted from power in 2011

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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has reportedly agreed to a transfer of power that would finally end the 10-month long uprising that nearly got him killed. Saleh arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday where he is expected to sign off on the deal soon.

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According to Al Jazeera, Saleh would resign, handing power over to his vice president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. A unity goverement would then be formed with members of the opposition party and a presidental election would be held within the next two months. As part of the deal, which was brokered by other Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saleh would be given immunity from prosecution.

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As welcome as the news might be to some people, it hasn't stopped clashes between protesters and government forces in the country's capital. The activists groups that been leading the protest for most of the this year, were not a part of the negotiation process at may just see this as a cosmetic change that will not end government corruption or bring real stability to Yemen. Many protesters and human rights groups are also upset that Saleh will not face punishment. Saleh has promised more than once to sign an agreement only to change his mind at the last minute

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Hundreds of people have been killed and thousand more injured — including Saleh who spent three months in Saudi Arabia after surviving an assassination attempt — in clashes between the military government, local tribes, and protesters who were inspired by revolts in Egypt and Tunisia this spring.

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