Yemen’s presidential elections will be held as scheduled toward the end of February, the foreign minister said on Wednesday, countering his own observation a day earlier. Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, a veteran of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, told Al-Arabiya television on Tuesday that it would difficult to have presidential elections if the security situation is not resolved. After a series of meetings with American and U.N diplomats, al-Qirbi backtracked, saying that his government was committed to holding presidential elections on February 21. It appeared, however, that the subject was not closed.
A top ruling party official told The Associated Press that Saleh met with high-level security officials this week and decided to ask parliament to delay the elections until May 22, which would be a violation of the U.S.-backed agreement the president signed in November. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Yemen has been in turmoil for a year over demands that Saleh resign. In November, he signed the power transfer deal brokered by Yemen’s powerful Gulf neighbors, but he remains in office. The U.S.-backed power transfer deal also granted Saleh immunity from prosecution. That clause set off new protests when it emerged that it applied to all crimes by all members of Saleh’s government during his entire 33-year reign.
Responding to the public outcry, Yemen’s vice president, opposition parties and members of Saleh’s party agreed to limit the sweeping immunity, said a government official who attended the meeting late Wednesday.
Full Article: Yemen FM Says No Delay in Presidential Election – ABC News.