Marking the end of an era, the Yemeni electoral commission has announced the results of this week’s presidential vote, effectively ending the 33 year reign of US-backed military dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. The results were no real secret with only one candidate on the ballot — and US-backed military leader Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will replace Saleh in the position of president following a swearing-in ceremony on Saturday.
President Obama cheered Hadi’s election earlier this week, saying it could serve as a “model” for elections in other nations across the Middle East. The Obama Administration had pushed for Saleh to step down in favor of Hadi in the face of mounting protests.
Hadi netted a strong 99.8% of the vote. Officials declined to provide any details as to who got the rest of the vote, or whether the remaining ballots were simply left blank. The turnout was surprisingly strong – 66% of Yemen’s voters.
Which will be spun as a major victory for the new ruler, who has been campaigning intensively for weeks, arguing that the nation needed to vote for him if he was to defeat terrorism. President Obama cheered Hadi’s election earlier this week, saying it could serve as a “model” for elections in other nations across the Middle East.