Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh’s retreat into Saudi Arabia for emergency surgery was believed by many to be the end of his regime in all but name, but officials are reporting that increasingly this isn’t the case.
Rather Saleh has continued to sign executive orders from his hospital bed in Saudi Arabia, and officials say he has not officially appointed Major General Hadi as his “acting president” in his absence.
This might explain why the government is so reluctant to make any concessions toward free elections, but will doubtless not sit well with protesters, tens of thousands of which once again took to the streets demanding a transitional council.
The prospect of Saleh’s return within days has once again fueled protester anger, and could restart the civil war in and around the capital city if he indeed attempts to fly back to Sanaa. Since he seems to be running the country in a de facto manner even in exile, this return might not necessarily be time sensitive, however, and promises of imminent return might continue to be empty.
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