Amnesty for Yemen's President Saleh, easing his departure
The protestors in the streets are dead set against it, but the cabinet has approved an amnesty measure that includes pardoning President Saleh for any crimes he committed - including ordering the murders of protestors - during the unrest.
The Yemeni cabinet has approved the draft of a law that will give President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution.
The draft was submitted to parliament for approval and is expected to be approved within days, said Yahya al-Arasi, a senior vice presidential aide.
Ghaleb al-Odaini, the spokesman for the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), said the law will pass but expect lawmakers to make changes to it before approving it.
Under the terms of a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered deal, Saleh has agreed to step down as president on February 21 in exchange for immunity from prosecution.Yemeni president seeks U.S. entry
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The law, if approved in its current form, will also give immunity to officials who worked under Saleh during his 33-year rule.
A day after the draft was approved, thousands of protesters rallied Monday in more than a dozen provinces against the proposal.
This hardly means that Saleh will actually leave office. Over the past year, he has said he was on the way out 5 times only to change his mind, or make some excuse to reneg on his promises. This time, it appears he doesn't have much support to stay in power as even the army seems to have deserted him.
Of course, the Islamists are poised to make the most of Saleh's departure. They are well positioned to run effectively once new elections are scheduled.