Sanaa: Sanaa was quiet on Friday with no
sign of the thousands of protesters who had flooded the
streets the previous day to demand the ouster of President Ali
Abdullah Saleh, in power since 1978.
Reports that the protesters would stage another
rally after the weekly Muslim prayers proved unfounded and the
situation was normal for a Friday, a weekly holiday in Yemen,
with no visible extra police deployment,a reporter said.
Saleh, who has been president for decades, was
re-elected in September 2006 for a seven-year mandate.
A draft amendment of the constitution, under
discussion in parliament despite opposition protests, could
allow him -- if passed -- to remain in office for life.
Slogans chanted during yesterday`s demonstration in
Sanaa were firm in demanding Saleh`s departure.
"No to extending (presidential tenure). No to
bequeathing (the presidency)," chanted demonstrators,
insisting that it was "time for change."
Security measures at the demonstrations appeared
relaxed, but were tight around the interior ministry and the
Saleh`s ruling General People`s Congress (GPC),
meanwhile, organised four simultaneous counter-demonstrations
which were attended by thousands of the government`s backers.
"No to toppling democracy and the constitution,"
the president`s supporters said on their banners.