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Reform Plans in Yemen Reach Deadlock

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TEHRAN, March 11 (ICANA) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced fresh plans to change the constitution, but the opposition says the initiative falls short of the people's expectation.
Friday, March 11, 2011 12:36:17 PM
Reform Plans in Yemen Reach Deadlock

In a live televised address on Thursday, Saleh claimed a national unity government will be formed by the end of 2011 to oversee the process of constitutional reform, Press TV correspondent reported.

Under the initiative, the current regime, which has often allowed President Saleh to rule by decree, will be replaced by a parliamentary system.

Saleh said the new constitution will guarantee separate legislative, Judicial and executive branches of government.

However, the embattled president predicted that the move will not satisfy the opposition.

“I am sure this new initiative will be refused by the opposition, just like the previous ones. But I offer this initiative to the Yemeni people, who are the main source of power,” he asserted.

Opposition groups, however, say the move has come too late and that it falls way short of the protesters' demands.

“The initiative lacks the accurate detailed mechanisms for the transition of power in a quick, safe and easy way,” opposition spokesman Mohammed Qahtan told Press TV.

Meanwhile, human rights groups in Yemen have denounced the latest bloodshed in Sana'a and Sayoun and called for an international investigation into the regime's crackdown on peaceful rallies.

On Tuesday, security forces opened fire on a large protest outside Sana'a University. At least 80 people were injured and one person died of his injuries later in hospital.

Also on Wednesday, protests left at least two people dead.

The nation now gears up to hold a mass rally on Friday.

Saleh has rejected an opposition plan to step down this year. He said he will remain in power until his term ends in 2013 but promised not to hand power to his son.

Protesters have been camped-out in the area around Sana'a University since February 20 to protest Saleh's 33 years of rule.

Since the beginning of demonstrations, over 30 people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured in clashes with security forces.

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