In a move seen as a major concession to the Houthi rebels that currently occupy the capital city of Sanaa, the Yemeni government has appointed its second premier in the past week, this time going with Khaled Bahah.
Bahah is a long-time diplomat, who previously served as the Ambassador to the United Nations and the Ambassador to Canada. He was also the Oil Minister under President Saleh.
Previous PM-appointee Ahmed Awad Mubarak was loudly rejected by the Houthis, and resigned when Houthi leaders threatened a mass protest in Sanaa. They appear to have been consulted this time, and dubbed Bahah “the right person for the job.”
The Houthis have occupied Sanaa for weeks, after defeating pro-government Sunni Islamists in their northern homeland, and have said they won’t withdraw from the capital until a new, representative government is in place. Today’s appointment could be the start of doing just that.