Thousands of people keep on protesting (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk), asking for the country’s president to step down. And on Saturday several members of the General People’s Congress, the country’s ruling party, have resigned.
Members of parliament and some ministers are among the members who resigned from the party in order to show their opposition to the violence and harassment used against anti-government demonstrators in the country.
According to Al Jazeera, Ali Al-Imrani, an MP from al-Baida province, and Fathi Tawfiq Abdulrahim, head of the finance committee of the Yemeni parliament, resigned from the JPC, bringing the number of resigned ruling party MPs to 13 since the beginning of the protests.
In several cities thousands of people have been protesting for days, asking for the country’s president to step down. But president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, refuses to step down before the end of his term in 2013.
Protesters claim they are frustrated about government corruption and soaring unemployment.
The refused proposal
The country’s capital Sanaa, and the southern port city of Aden have been the focal points for daily demonstrations, which have been going on for weeks. In early February, saying they are discriminated against by authorities, Shia Houtis announced their support for anti-government protests.
On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the government has suspended classes at the universities of those two cities.
Gathering on the main squares of Sanaa, Aden, Taiz and Hadramawt, the protesters are also demanding an investigation into the killing of four people during protests a day earlier in the northern town of Harf Sofyan.
On Friday at least four people died and some seven others were wounded, when Yemeni soldiers opened fire on anti-government protesters.
On the same day, Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected a proposal made by a coalition of opposition groups and religious scholars.
“The president rejected the proposal and is holding on to his previous offer,” Yemen’s opposition’s rotating president Mohammed al-Mutawakil said.
The proposal called for a “peaceful transition of power” by offering Mr Saleh a smooth exit from power by the end of 2011, and called for a probe into the deadly crackdown on the recent anti-government protests.
And in order to ensure fair representation in parliament, the proposal also mentioned steps to change the constitution and rewriting election laws. These steps would also lead to the removal Saleh’s relatives from leadership positions in the army and security forces, and a guaranteed right to peaceful protest.
President Saleh has blamed the US and Israel for the unrest in Yemen and across the Arab world.