After weeks of being totally incommunicado in the wake of a nearly successful assassination attempt, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was broadcast today for the first time, reporting he had survived “eight successful operations.”
Though he hinted at openness to opposition “participation” within the context of the current, pro-regime constitution, Saleh’s message was largely the same as it was in May, that he will remain in power.
“Yemen’s people are defiant and will remain defiant against all challenges that threaten its stability and security,” insisted the long-ruling dictator, who is still in the hospital in Saudi Arabia and gave no indication of when he would return.
Saleh’s speech made no mention of a transition, and instead demanded an end to all anti-regime protests, insisting that they were “blocking roads and scaring people.” Opposition figures slammed the speech afterwards, but analysts conceded it offered nothing truly new.
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