It appears that President Saleh, despite being seriously injured in a bomb attack several months ago and recuperating in Saudi Arabia, still has a stranglehold on power in Yemen and according to protestors seeking to oust him, may be using violence to derail any handover of power.
At least 20 people have been killed by security forces in Yemen, doctors say, continuing a bloody crackdown on protesters that started on Sunday.
Snipers in Sanaa fired from rooftops at a protester camp, killing bystanders including a child, witnesses said.
Government forces have also begun shelling areas held by soldiers loyal to the protesters.
The opposition has promised to carry on its campaign to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
For months, thousands of people have been waging a campaign to depose Mr Saleh, who is currently in Saudi Arabia recovering from a bomb attack in June.
As the violence intensified on Monday, envoys from the UN and the Gulf Cooperation Council arrived in Yemen, in a new attempt to negotiate a handover of power from Mr Saleh.
The opposition believes the government is deliberately orchestrating the violence to derail any chance of agreement.
Sunday saw the worst violence in the country for several months, when 26 people were killed and many more injured as they marched towards the presidential palace in Sanaa, the capital.
Several military units have defected to the protestors which has resulted in many pitched battles. But the bottom line is that the protestors will not be able to dislodge Saleh unless he voluntarily relenquishes his office.
And that prospect does not appear likely any time soon.