Yemen’s Saleh Bails on Transition Deal Yet Again

Ruler Objects to Opposition Figure Signing Deal

In a repeat of several previous attempts by the GCC to reach a transition deal on Yemen, the latest attempt reached the closing moments only to be foiled by long-time dictator Ali Abdulalh Saleh’s sudden refusal to sign.

Saleh was the first to endorse the GCC efforts at a transition of power, back in early April, but every time the deal has reached an apparent agreement he has rejected over some minor objection. In one case he wanted someone else to sign for him. In another, he demanded that the opposition “sign first.”

This time, the objection is that the opposition is signing at all, or at least which opposition figures. Saleh reportedly demanded that opposition figure Yassin Noman sign instead of Mohammed Basindwa, the presumptive Prime Minister of an interim government.

Such complaints are nothing new from Saleh and the opposition tried to placate him by agreeing that Noman would also sign. Saleh then angrily refused to continue and the GCC negotiator left the country.

Regime officials continue to insist that a deal is possible, but the already skeptical opposition is increasingly doubtful that Saleh will ever agree to sign and, on the off chance he does, are convinced he will refuse to leave office anyhow.

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.