SANAA, Dec 4 — The General People’s Congress (GPC) has delegated both Honorary President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his deputy, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to nominate ministers for the General People’s Congress’ share of the National Unity Government. The new government should be formed within 14 days of Saleh’s signing of the power transfer deal in Saudi Arabia on November 23.
To date, two formal steps in the deal were taken by Hadi on November 26, those of naming the opposition’s prime minister and calling for an early election, to be held on February 21.
“One step at a time, we don’t expect a miracle,” said Michelle Cervone d’Urso, European Union ambassador and head of the European Union Delegation in Yemen.
The ruling party’s return of some political power to Saleh provoked an angry response from youth protesters and was taken as being a manipulation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal.
“Everyone knows by now that Saleh won’t let go. He will play games until the last day of his life. That is why we rejected the deal in the first place,” said Ahmed Al-Ma’mari from Sana’a’s Change Square. He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Saleh names his son Ahmed as a minister.
Hadi was supposed to have formed a military committee within five days of the deal’s signing. Continuing violence – most notably in Taiz – has only raised the need for the demilitarization of Yemen’s major cities. Meanwhile, Hadi has yet to complete this aspect of the deal.
Though he had already been granted to the power to order the military to withdrawal, Hadi instead merely issued a call for an end to the fighting in Taiz and for such a withdrawal.
“Saleh keeps his power as the Supreme Leader of the armed forces until the Election on February 21,” said Ahmed Al-Sofi, Saleh’s Information Secretary. “What I understand from the Gulf Cooperation Council deal is that it was signed in order to end the crisis – not to found a new state.”
Cervone d’Urso said he had noticed some changes, including more hours of power (but, according to him, not enough), more available cooking gas and water, and less armed checkpoints. He also said that the government should prioritize retaking land lost to militants and opposition tribesmen en route to re-establishing a national-wide presence.
He added that youth protesters and other parties who were not included in the deal will be included later on.
“The youth is suspicious of the deal. They will need to see change before they agree to anything,” he said.
“They are free to stay at and around the Freedom and Change Squares, or to leave.”