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Yemen Opposition Threatens to Join Protests

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TEHRAN, May 9 (ICANA) – Opposition groups in Yemen have threatened to join anti-regime protesters if a plan to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh fails.
Monday, May 09, 2011 9:25:51 AM
Yemen Opposition Threatens to Join Protests

Security forces opened fire on teacher demonstrators in Taizz on Sunday, killing three people. In Hudaydah, pro-government thugs attacked protesters, killing one person and injuring six others, AFP reported.

The protesters were calling for the ouster of Saleh, who has been ruling the country for nearly 33 years with several opposition members arguing that he has failed to realize his long-promised reforms.

The political crisis deepened in the country after Saleh refused to sign a deal proposed by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC).

The [P]GCC's Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani failed to persuade Saleh to ink the deal during his visit to Sana'a ten days ago.

The deal proposes that Saleh should resign from his post within 30 days after signing the accord in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

According to the deal, aimed at solving the country's political crisis, a new government will be formed by the opposition within seven days and should arrange presidential and parliamentary elections within 60 days.

Also on Sunday, Yemen's opposition coalition called on [P]GCC states to pressure Saleh to relinquish power ahead of their Tuesday summit.

Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in cities including Sana'a, Aden and Taizz, calling for corruption and unemployment to be tackled and demanding Saleh's resignation.

Some 40 percent of the population live on $2 a day or less in the country, and a third face food shortages.

The protests have been met by riot police or supporters of President Saleh armed with knives and batons.

The death toll in the country has surpassed 300 since anti-government protests began in late January.

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