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Yemen's President Caves to Protests, Won't Run Again

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced that he will not seek reelection, and is asking his opponents to make a deal.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/2/2011, 7:24 PM / Last Update: 2/2/2011, 12:52 PM

The protests sweeping across the Arab world have changed another regime. Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in office for 32 years, announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection when his term ends in 2013.

Saleh also assured the public that he will not install his son as a successor.

His announcement followed a call for “Day of Rage” protests Thursday like those in Egypt. Protests began in Tunisia, where demonstrators successfully toppled the regime of Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali, and have since spread to Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and Sudan.

The government of Lebanon has also changed in recent weeks, after the coalition party and terrorist group Hizbullah toppled the government and installed its preferred candidate in power.

Saleh called an emergency meeting before the scheduled demonstrations in his country to announce his impending retirement and to call on his opponents to enter talks for a “sustainable and reconcilable political agreement.”

Opposition parties reject Saleh's call for reconciliation, and said they would go ahead with Thursday's march.

While the president sought to preempt the riots, some around him are preparing to flee the country, senior Yemeni officials told CNN. The officials said that other high-ranking officials had begun gathering ordinary passports to carry alongside their diplomatic passports, in order to ensure safe passage out of the country in case of a revolution.