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Profile: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

11-24-2011 09:01 BJT Special Report:Yemen’s Saleh Signs Power Transfer Deal |

SANAA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed the power transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Yemeni ruling party and the opposition signed the implementation mechanism of the deal under which Saleh would leave office within 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution.

Following is the profile of the Yemeni leader:

In March 1942, Saleh was born in a village near Sanaa. He received limited education before taking up a military career in 1958.

In 1964, Saleh graduated from a military academy in Sanaa and served in the armored forces until he was appointed as military governor of Taiz.

In July 1978, he was elected to be president of North Yemen after his predecessor was killed in a bomb attack a month earlier. Saleh had been the leader of North Yemen until 1990 when he became chairman of the presidential council of the Republic of Yemen, which was formed following the unity of North Yemen and South Yemen.

In 1999, Saleh became Yemen's first directly elected president in the first presidential election of the unified Yemen, winning 96.3 percent of the votes.

After the 1999 elections, the Yemeni parliament passed a law extending presidential terms from five to seven years.

In September 2006, Saleh was re-elected to a seven-year term, garnering 77.2 percent of the votes.

In early 2011, Yemeni protesters began to launch protests, calling for an end to Saleh's three-decade rule.

On Feb. 2, Saleh announced that he would not run for a third term in 2013 and not to bring his son to power. He pledged to carry out reforms, urging the opposition to stop protests and come back to dialogue.

On the same day, he ordered to create a fund to employ university graduates, extend social insurance coverage, increase wages and reduce income taxes, offering to resume a political dialogue with the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP). Furthermore, he delayed parliamentary elections scheduled in April.

On March 10, Saleh announced a new initiative to solve the crisis, including forming a committee, members of which are from parliament and Shura councils, social figures and youths to prepare a new constitution.

The initiative also called for transferring power to an elected parliamentary system by the end of the year, establishing full- power local governance and preparing a new election law in addition to forming a new government of national unity.

On March 18, Saleh declared a state of emergency.

On March 20, Saleh sacked the government and ordered the prime minister and ministers to stay as a caretaker cabinet.

On April 23, Saleh said he agreed to sign a deal brokered by the GCC under which he would leave office within 30 days in return for judicial immunity. He backed out of the deal at the last minute a day later.

On May 22, Saleh again backed out of signing the GCC deal after his party and the opposition had inked it. The tribal fighters led by the opposition leader Sadiq al-Ahmar launched heavy attacks on a number of government buildings in Sanaa on the second day.

On June 3, Saleh was seriously injured in an attack on his compound in Sanaa that also badly injured 87 of his senior aides. He transferred power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and left for Saudi Arabia to seek medical treatment a day later.

On July 7, Saleh said on TV in his first speech after nine surgeries for burns he suffered in the assassination attempt that he was willing to share power with the opposition.

On Sept. 12, he authorized his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to hold a dialogue with the opposition to agree on a suitable mechanism to sign and implement the GCC plan.

On Sept. 23, Saleh returned to Yemen after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

On Oct. 21, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2014, condemning attacks on demonstrators by pro- Saleh forces and backing the GCC plan.

On Nov. 22, the Yemeni ruling party and the opposition reached a compromise on Gulf-brokered initiative and its implementation mechanism.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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