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National Initiative to Avert Civil War in Yemen

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TEHRAN, March 11 (ICANA) – Following weeks of anti-government protests, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced fresh plans to change the constitution.
Friday, March 11, 2011 12:39:56 PM
National Initiative to Avert Civil War in Yemen

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

In a live televised address, Saleh said a national unity government will be formed by the end of 2011 to oversee the process of constitutional reform.

Saleh says the new constitution will guarantee separate legislative and executive branches of government. But opposition groups say the move has come too late and that it falls way short of the protesters' demands.

Also, 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 the university in Sana'a. At least 80 people were injured, and one person died of his injuries later in hospital. Wednesday's protests left at least two people dead, while another mass rally is planned for Friday.

Saleh, who's been in power for 32 years, has pledged not to seek re-election once his current term ends in 2013. But that has failed to satisfy the protesters whose key demand is his immediate resignation.

So many questions are raised, following the president's initiative which was refused by the opposition, leaving the final decision to the protesters at the change squares.

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