Yemen protesters reject Saleh`s call for polls

Yemen activists called fresh protests on Sunday, escalating demands for the immediate departure of President Saleh.

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2011, 20:29 PM IST

Sanaa: Yemen activists called fresh protests on Sunday, escalating demands for the immediate departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh after the ailing leader said polls would determine his future.

Saleh`s address last night in which he called for elections while at the same time said he was committed to a Gulf power-transfer deal which would see him step down immediately, triggered uproar at Change Square, epicentre of anti-regime protests which have rocked Yemen since late January.

"The youth will not accept," said Walid al-Amari, a leading member of the youth protest committee, addressing demonstrators at the square near the capital`s main university.

"They will not give up until they achieve all the goals of the revolution," he added, referring to demands that the veteran leader quit power immediately.

Part of today`s events would be a protest at Change Square by women demonstrators, organisers said.

Saleh, who unexpectedly returned on Friday to Yemen after a month-long stay in Saudi Arabia for treatment from bomb blast wounds, challenged the opposition to head to early elections.

"You who are running after power, let us head together toward the ballot boxes. We are against coups," Saleh said in a speech aired on state television on the 49th anniversary of the September 26, 1962 revolution that saw Yemen proclaimed a republic.

Bureau Report