Saleh Again Suggests Willingness to Transfer Power

Sudden Endorsement of GCC Efforts Falls Short of Specific Offer to Leave Office

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has once again suggested that he is willing to transfer power under certain unspecified circumstances. Saleh also endorsed the Gulf Cooperation Council effort to negotiate his ouster, although against with some caveats.

Those caveats appear to be big ones, with Saleh insisting that he will only transfer power in a “constitutional manner,” which is roughly the same position he has taken all along. The opposition has demanded his immediate ouster, and that call has grown as the regime has turned to violence against demonstrators.

A constitutional transfer of power in Yemen would seem to require an election, and given Saleh’s history of dubious elections this does not appear a promising prospect. The US has also been reported to be trying to negotiate Saleh’s replacement with a top general.

At the same time, Saleh has lost large portions of the military, large amounts of tribal support, and de facto control over several provinces in both the north and the south. At this point, his demands to transfer power over the regime to only a select few seems irrelevant, as the position of President of Yemen represents actual control over only a small portion of the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.