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Yemeni Parties Sign Deal on Forming New Government

Houthi Shiite Yemenis wearing police uniforms check a vehicle at a street ahead of a tribal meeting held by Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 31, 2014.

Yemen's political factions, including Shi'ite Muslim rebels who control the capital, signed an agreement Saturday to allow the president and prime minister to form a new government.

The deal calls on all sides to ask President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah to form a "competent national government" committed to human rights and neutrality in national affairs.

The Shi'ite rebels, known as Houthis, gave Hadi an ultimatum Friday: Form a new government within 10 days or face "all revolutionary options."

Putting together a new power-sharing government in Yemen is part of a U.N.-brokered deal to end the country's political crisis, which has seen several factions scramble for power since Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step down as president three years ago.

Squabbling among the Houthis and other political parties over Cabinet seats and ministerial posts has been holding up formation of a new administration.

The Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in September after weeks of violence. They have promised to withdraw their forces from the city when a new government is in place.