BEIRUT

Middle East

Yemeni president dismisses Cabinet: officials

Members of the Yemeni security forces loyal to the Houthi Shiite shout slogans during a demonstration near the cabinet's headquarters in Sanaa calling for the government to resign September 1, 2014. (AFP Photo/Mohammad Huwais)

SANAA: The Yemeni president Tuesday dismissed the Cabinet, firing the prime minister for the first time in two years, while partially reversing an earlier decision to lift fuel subsidies in a bid to end a standoff with Shiite rebels holding anti-government protests across the country.

Three government officials told The Associated Press that Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi would appoint a new prime minister within a week. They said Hadi made his decision during a meeting with the now outgoing government and representatives from political parties.

After appointing a new prime minister, the parties will nominate ministers from their own ranks, although Hadi is expected to appoint the defense and interior ministers, officials said.

The decision comes a day after the Houthi rebel leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi escalated the confrontation with Hadi by calling for civil disobedience against the government. He also urged the expansion of mass protests that have disrupted life in the capital for over two weeks. The rebels had been demanding the government to step down and also reinstate fuel subsides.

The Houthis' ability to mobilize tens of thousands in the capital and set up sit-ins near several ministries put security authorities on alert.

A senior Yemeni security official said that Houthis are plotting a Ukrainian-style revolution in the capital and that they plan to storm the Cabinet and parliament over the coming days.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists.

 

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