After failing to reach a deal on reforms to the draft constitution that would satisfy the Houthi rebels, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, his cabinet, and Prime Minister Khalid Baha have all abruptly resigned, leaving the situation totally up in the air.
Hadi said the talks had “reached a dead end” and claimed the rebels pressured him for his resignation after that. The resignation is still contingent on parliament accepting it.
Hadi was “elected” in 2012 in a US and UN backed vote in which no one else was allowed to run, and “no” votes were similarly rejected. The US at the time presented it as a model for democracy in the region.
Where this leaves Yemen is anyone’s guess, but the Houthis maintain de facto control over the capital city, and continue to fight against al-Qaeda in the south.
The Houthis secessionist aspirations are likely mooted by their control over such a large portion of the country, but secessionist ambitions in the south, centered around Aden, are likely to be renewed amid the power vacuum. The Hadi government and its predecessor had been violently cracking down on pro-secession protesters in Aden for years.