Saleh urges Yemenis to vote for his successor


Outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh urged Yemenis to vote for his successor Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in Tuesday’s referendum-like elections to ensure a “peaceful” transition of power, state media reported.
“I invite you to actively participate in this democratic event and to head to ballot boxes to vote for Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi” as future president, Saleh said in a speech addressed to Yemenis, published by the Saba news agency.
“This event comes as part of (the plan) we have adopted for a peaceful and smooth transition of power that would take our people out of this year-long crisis that has brought development to a halt,” Saleh said, referring to a Gulf-brokered plan he signed in November.
Based on the deal, which Saleh had stalled for months, Hadi will be the sole consensus candidate in Tuesday’s presidential elections, after which he will lead a two-year-long transition period.
“I invite you all to… overcome the past and move forward in rebuilding what the disastrous crisis exploited by backward and terrorist elements has caused” to Yemen, Saleh said.
After months of bloody clashes between security forces and pro-democracy protestors, Saleh bowed to domestic and international pressure and signed a deal that effectively ends his 33-year rule but protects him from prosecution.
He is currently receiving medical treatment in the United States for bomb blast wounds he sustained in an attack on his palace in Sanaa last June.