Speaking today to France 24, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh elaborated on his planned “unity government” deal, saying he was prepared to step down within 90 days after a deal is signed on such an initiative.
The devil is, as ever, in the details. Saleh gave no indication when he’d sign such a deal, and several previous deals have collapsed at the last minute when Saleh refused to sign over some minor disagreement.
Likewise, the current deal, which Saleh described yesterday as putting Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in charge of a two year “transition,” was predicated controversially on giving Saleh full immunity, and the addition of another 90 days of Saleh in office is going to make that deal even more difficult to complete.
And even if it is completed the new Hadi regime’s ability to bring the rest of the nation into the fold is very much in doubt. The US is fine with the military commander taking over, but the protest movement that’s been calling for free elections will likely see the replacement of the faltering Saleh as just another shuffle aimed at keeping the dictatorship intact.