After 33 years as head of state, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday handed over his powers to his successor, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was elected as the new president of this Arab nation.
Saleh transferred his powers during an official at the presidential palace in the capital Sanaa.
The event was broadcast live on Yemeni television.
Hadi replaces the outgoing president as part of a transition plan offered by the Gulf states. Hadi’s mandate is for a transitional period of two years.
The inauguration of Hadi as the President of Yemen is the first Arab country where an uprising led to a negotiated solution. Saleh is the fourth Arab leader who had to leave his office following popular revolts of the so-called “Arab Spring,” after Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali , Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s ruler Muammar Gaddafi .
Meanwhile, Saleh is reportedly willing to go to exile in Ethiopia, said Monday sources close to the deposed leader. He is expected to leave Yemen in the next 48 hours with some of his family members.
A diplomat in Sanaa confirmed that arrangements had been made for the departure of Saleh.
It should be noted that Saleh’s son Ahmed heads the powerful Republican Guard. Many fear that Saleh is using its vast network of tribal and family ties to try to continue to pull the strings during the transition period, which should lead to a new constitution.