BEIRUT

Middle East

Yemen's Saleh to hand power to successor Monday

Yemen's Vice President and the sole presidential candidate, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi (L), casts his ballot at a polling station in Sanaa on February 21, 2012. (AFP/STR)

SANAA: Veteran Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to hand power to his successor Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Monday, the electoral commission said, before the results of a single-candidate presidential poll have even been announced.

The handover will put the seal on a hard-won November transfer of power deal, under which Saleh agreed to step down in return for a controversial promise of immunity from prosecution over the deaths of hundreds of people during 10 months of protests against his 33-year rule.

Hadi "will take the oath of office in parliament on Saturday, February 25, and the inauguration will follow on Monday, February 27, in a ceremony at the presidential palace during which Ali Abdullah Saleh will officially hand over power to him," Friday's statement from the commission said.

Saleh has been receiving treatment in the United States for blast wounds he suffered in a bombing at the presidential palace last June but is to fly home for the handover, Deputy Information Minister Abdo Janadi said on Wednesday.

The commission said on Thursday that the count from Tuesday's vote, in which Hadi's name was the only one on the ballot paper, had not been finished.

It had promised a result before Saturday but said that logistical problems and polling day violence by separatists in the formerly independent south had caused delays.

 

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