Saleh may return home before vote

Saleh may return home before vote

SANAA - Reuters
Saleh may return home before vote

Yemeni President Saleh waves to people protesting his presence in the US. AP photo

Yemen’s outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh said Feb. 7 he would return home from the United States before an election later this month designed to choose his successor.

Saleh’s intention to return to Yemen before the vote will raise doubts about his commitment to leave office in line with a Gulf-brokered deal to end a year of political upheaval. Saleh, who formally transferred power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in November, flew to the U.S. last month to undergo medical treatment for wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt last year.

“I will return to the land of the nation after the end of my treatment to be present during the election,” Saleh said in a statement. The election, scheduled for Feb. 21, has already run into problems. Both southern separatists and rebels in the north have said they will boycott it. Hadi, the only candidate for the position of president, said Feb. 7 he would open dialogue with both groups. “We are determined to overcome our crisis through dialogue.”

Middle East, Yemen, unrest