Thursday Nov 24, 201104:18 PM GMT
Yemen's Saleh vows to hold referendum
Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:43AM
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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced plans to hold referendum on drawing up a new constitution, amid the ongoing revolution in the country.

He made the remarks during a speech to thousands of people at a political rally in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, on Thursday.

Saleh pledged to hold a referendum in 2011, which gives more power to the parliament, AFP reported.

The measure has been one of the key demands of Yemeni anti-government protesters.

Killing of protesters has hardened the opposition resolve to continue their anti-government rallies till the fall of Saleh, who has ruled the country for more than 32 years.

Yemen, a neighbor of oil giant Saudi Arabia and the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, has seen a wave of protests since Feb 16, inspired by the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt.

Almost 30 people have been killed in the revolution and analysts have said the situation could degenerate rapidly.

Saleh has so far rejected popular calls to step down.

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