(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Yemeni president is treading a losing track. His defiance to stay put in office is not only taking him to the brink but also sliding his country in further chaos and bloodshed.
The opposition, which had earlier agreed to a series of conditionalities hoping to see transfer of power, is now too going back on its words. This new equation is untenable for peace and security of the country that had seen months of conflict and political polarisation. The rationale way out for President Ali Abdullah Al Saleh is to follow in letter and spirit the deal proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council, and ensure that Yemen is saved from death and destruction in all humility.
The news that GCC chief Abdullatif Al Zayani had undertaken another visit to Sanaa in his endeavour to make the deal get going is promising. This underscores the importance the regional member states accord for peace and tranquility, and their desire to see Yemen limp back to normalcy. The Gulf plan proposes the formation of a government of national unity with Saleh transferring power to his vice, and at the same time foreseeing that the opposition is on board, as he seeks his exit within a stipulated period of 30 days. Saleh who had agreed to this deal is now apparently indulging in politics of expediency. But that is hardly going to help him, as the return of people on the streets, coupled with lawlessness, will cripple the situation altogether differently.
This deal is a moment of truth for Yemen, its ruling elite and likewise the opposition. The peaceful manner in which power is supposed to be transferred taking into account the ethnic and sectarian sensitivities of the country is, indeed, a blessing in disguise. Saleh has no other recourse but to value the GCC mediation and fall in line, instantly. Simmering tensions and changing ground realities cannot keep the GCC largesse on the table for long, and this is why it is extremely important for the president and his aides to see a reason in standing down. The dispossessed and destructed Arab country is in need of leadership and not dictatorship, per se.