Yemeni anti-government protesters at a rally in Sanaa on Monday
Hundreds of thousands flooded Yemen's streets Friday seeking victory against "tyrants," a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh said a Gulf Cooperation Council proposal for power transfer should be treated positively. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP
Yemeni anti-government protesters at a rally in Sanaa on Monday
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AFP
Last updated: August 12, 2011

Yemenis hold anti- and pro-Saleh rallies

Hundreds of thousands flooded Yemen's streets Friday seeking victory against "tyrants," a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh said a Gulf Cooperation Council proposal for power transfer should be treated positively.

"God most merciful, grant us victory in (the Muslim holy fasting month of) Ramadan," protesters chanted in Sittine Road, in a western district of the capital Sanaa.

"Revolt, revolt to all people against the tyrants," they chanted on what they have named the Friday of "achieving victory."

The protesters also called for "building a new Yemen."

Similar protesters took place in the second-largest city Taez, as well as in Ibb, Hudaydah, Saada, Aden and Marib.

Meanwhile, Saleh's supporters rallied in tens of thousands in Sabiine Square in Sanaa's southern district chanting "the people want Ali Abdullah Saleh."

They carried pictures of Saleh, recovering from bomb blast wounds in Riyadh, and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on what they have named the Friday of "national alliance to protect constitutional legitimacy."

Saleh, whose regime has been facing protests since January, said his ruling General People's Congress party stresses the need to "continue to deal positively with the Gulf initiative," Saba state news agency reported Thursday.

The president who has been in office since 1978, and whose term ends in 2013, insisted, however, that the implementation of the Gulf proposal should be done "in accordance with the constitution."

The deal proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council in April stipulated that Saleh would submit his resignation to parliament 30 days after passing power to his vice president, and tasking the opposition with forming a national unity government shared equally between the GPC and the opposition.

Presidential elections would follow two months later.

The deal faltered in May after Saleh kept procrastinating over signing it, and in early June he was nearly killed in a bomb attack on his Sanaa compound.

Despite his absence, Saleh has not transferred power to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, as family members who lead strong army and security forces appear to run the country.

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