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Dueling Demonstrations in Yemen


Demonstrators call for resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Aug., 2011 (file photo)

Demonstrators call for resignation of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Aug., 2011 (file photo)

Yemenis calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Sana'a and the southwestern Taiz region, amid government announcements that "millions" of his supporters had gathered to show their "love of the homeland."

The rival demonstrations come on the heels of meetings between leaders of the country's ruling party in which they discussed ways to get Saleh to relinquish power before his term ends in 2013.

The General People's Congress is considering a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plan that calls for Saleh to hand over power to a deputy and allow a coalition to form a national unity government.

The Yemen Post reported Thursday that the ruling party had agreed on a modified version of the proposal that, if adopted, would give the president more time to resign.

The six-nation GCC initially proposed its plan in April in an effort to end months of anti-government protests in Yemen. Saleh agreed to the proposal three times, but each time backed out before the deal could be signed.

Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia, recovering from injuries sustained during a June attack on his presidential compound in Sana'a.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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