Daily Israel Report

Goodbye Saleh: Yemen Forms Unity Government

The Gulf-brokered transition of power is underway in Yemen even as clashes rock the capital of Sanaa; Hadi to replace Saleh soon.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 12/7/2011, 7:57 PM

Yemen's Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Basindawa said on Wednesday he had finalized his new unity government and would disclose the line-up later in the day.

"The government has been formed and we will announce it formally this evening," Basindawa told AFP in the Yemeni capital Sana'a. "We have agreed on all the names," he added.

The announcement comes one day after warring factions in the capital of Sanaa resumed fighting, threatening to derail the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered peace plan aimed at ending the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Gulf Cooperation Council plan, which is backed by the United Nations, forced Saleh to hand over power to Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution for him and his family. The GCC deal also allows Saleh to remain honorary president until Hadi's election.

Saleh finally signed the deal, after numerous broken promises to do so, on November 23.

The government-run SABA news agency accused dissident general Ali Moshen al-Ahmar and tribal leader Sadeq al-Ahmar of sending troops to sow chaos and scuttle the transition of power.

Half of the new cabinet ministers will be from the opposition, but loyalists of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh ware expected to make up the other half

Yemen's opposition Common Forum spokesman Mohammad Qahtan told AFP last week that Saleh loyalists would keep the ministries of defense, foreign affairs, oil, telecommunications and civil services.

He said the opposition meanwhile would head the ministries of interior, finance, cooperation, information and human rights.

The newly formed transitional cabinet will carry out government duties for three months, after which elections will be held and Vice President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi will formally take over the presidency.