Yemen president agrees to step down within 30 days
Yemen's president agreed Saturday to a proposal by Gulf Arab mediators to step down within 30 days and hand power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The protest movement demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's immediate departure said Saturday that it also accepted the proposal but with reservations.
On Friday, protesters held the largest demonstration, with hundreds of thousands in the streets of the capital.
Under the deal, Yemen's parliament would grant Saleh legal protection from prosecution. The president would submit his resignation to lawmakers within 30 days and hand power to his vice president, who would call for new presidential elections.
According to the AP, opposition spokesman Mohammed Kahtan described the Gulf council's proposal as "positive" and said the leaders of the opposition parties have all agreed on it. Kahtan, however, said the opposition rejects the draft proposal's call for the formation of a national unity government within seven days of the signing of a deal and wants to see Saleh step down first.