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Saleh calls for early elections

Monday, September 26, 2011 - 01:29

Sept 26 - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh appears on state repeating his election offer, protesters are unmoved by his words. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh made no pledge to step down in his first television address to the nation since returning home. He called for early elections. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMEN PRESIDENT ALI ABDULLAH SALEH, SAYING: "I add to what was offered in the Gulf initiative: that we have complete elections, presidential, parliamentary and local, if we can agree on it. Otherwise, we are committed in what comes with the Gulf initiative." Saleh spoke after the sixth day of a wave of violence in which over 100 people have died. He had returned from Saudi Arabia where he received treatment after an assassination attempt. In the capital, protesters gathered in tents to listen to his speech. They were unimpressed with his words. "Leave," they shouted. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER KHALDON AL AMRI, SAYING: "Ali Abdullah Saleh did not bring new things in his speech, we are used to hearing promises and warnings. He talks about an election and the peaceful power transition, but he extorted the power from people." They have grown wary of the president's intentions after 17 people were killed on Saturday, when government forces attacked their camp in Sanaa. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Saleh calls for early elections

Monday, September 26, 2011 - 01:29