The United Nations Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar has said that the country’s ousted ruler, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and his son have the right to run for presidency.
Benomar said the US and Saudi-backed transition deal which paved the way for transition in Yemen in 2012 does not prevent Saleh and his son from returning to political stage and that they can run in the next presidential election.
Saleh, who ruled Yemen for almost 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 after nearly a year of mass street protests against his leadership under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity.
His deputy, UK-trained Field Marshal Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, replaced him on February 25, following a single-candidate presidential election. Hadi will serve for an interim two-year period as stipulated by the power transfer deal.
Yemen is preparing for full democratic presidential elections in February 2014.
Yemenis have held several anti-Saleh demonstrations since his resignation as president, demanding his prosecution over the killing of hundreds of demonstrators during a year of anti-regime demonstrations against his rule.