Yemen’s Saleh Scrambles to Appease Protesters

Marvels at 'Utmost Rudeness' of Protesters Demanding His Ouster

by Jason Ditz, January 24, 2011

With the ouster of President Ben Ali of Tunisia still fresh in everyone’s mind, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is scrambling to tamp down his own growing protest movement, concerned he may be the next of the region’s dictators forced to flee into exile.

Already, President Saleh has pledged not to run for a third term, saying that the constitutional amendment ending term limits for his office was “misunderstood,” and has freed Tawakul Karman, the human rights activist whose arrest sparked considerable anger amongst protesters.

Karman, however, insists that she is not done protesting, and speaking to a crowd of nearly 1,000 people promised a “Jasmine Revolution” like the one in Tunisia would remove the Saleh government.

Saleh, for his part, responded to the calls for his ouster by promising to increase the salary of his soldiers, and marveling at the “utmost rudeness” of the opposition for insisting that he would find some way to stay in office past 2013, or else pass rule of the nation to his son. This assumes, of course, that the protesters don’t chase him out before then.

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