Indications early this week were that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was starting over from square one with their Yemen negotiations, aimed at ending a standoff between massive rallies of protesters and long-standing ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Today’s effort to change the deal to be more palatable to Saleh, who endorsed the old deal then refused to sign it, appears to have cost the support of the opposition, however.
The deal would have required the opposition to sign first with only a representative of the ruling party present. President Saleh would’ve signed later, but would not have had to sign “as president,” a loophole which protesters were worried would allow him to retain his decades-long grip on power.
Indeed, the deals mostly seem to be beside the point, as the protest movement is demanding Saleh’s ouster and free elections, and whether some political faction signs a deal or not, it is the follow-through that will actually placate the protesters.