Though he’d really already made the promise publicly over a week ago, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh today cemented his attempt to appease protesters by reiterating that he will not run for a “third” term in office in 2013.
Today’s pledge was somewhat different from the previous comments because President Saleh actually informed parliament directly of his intentions, seemingly making the announcement more official and more difficult to back out of. At the same time, protesters seem unlikely to accept a promise to leave office in a couple of years as a decisive win.
Rather the protests against Saleh have been growing at a serious rate, and the president, who was just a month ago openly talking about formalizing himself as president-for-life, appears to be falling enormously out of favor.
Saleh has been president for 34 years, though he still falls within the Yemeni constitutional limit of two terms as president, because he wasn’t elected to the position until 1999, fully 22 years after he seized power following the assassination of Ibrahim al-Hamdi.
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