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Yemeni President Removed From Party Leadership

RIA Novosti

15:44 08/11/2014

MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has been removed from the leadership of his party amid the ongoing turmoil in his country, AFP reports.

The General People's Congress accused Hadi of backing UN sanctions imposed on the country's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, on Friday. Hadi's predecessor served as president of North Yemen from 1978 until 1990. He later became president of unified Yemen, serving as the country's leader for over two decades, until 2012. Saleh was forced to resign following a year of violent protests, sparked by the Arab Spring.

However, Saleh retained his position as the chairman of the General People's Congress, the party holding majority in Yemen's parliament. He has headed GCP since its foundation in 1982.

On Friday, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Saleh and two Shia rebel commanders accused of destabilizing the country. Saleh, Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim have "engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen, such as acts that obstruct the implementation of the agreement of 23 November 2011 between" the government and the opposition, the UN Security Council stated in a press release.

Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi is also accused of instigating violence in Dimaj in October 2013 and preparing attacks against diplomatic facilities in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September 2014. Abdullah Yahya al Hakim reportedly plotted a coup against Hadi in June 2014. He was additionally sanctioned for the violent takeover of Amran the following month.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Saleh for supporting Houthi violence in northern Yemen and planning to stage a coup by providing funds and political support to unnamed Yemenis, as well as using al-Qaeda "to conduct assassinations and attacks against military installations in order to weaken President Hadi and create discontent within the army and broader Yemeni population," according to the press release.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim are subject to a global travel ban and assets seizures.

The "GPC party's sacking of Hadi is obviously the first reaction to UN sanctions against Saleh. But how significant is the decision [remains to be seen]," al-Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra stated. "Hadi has never had huge sway in the party, now he will try to reach out to other political factions to strengthen his position," he added, as quoted by the channel.

"Losing this position leaves [Hadi] without a power base outside the presidency. Previously he was speaking as both president and leader of one of the largest parties. Now he has lost this," Mustafa Alani, a Gulf-based security analyst, told Reuters.

The GPC's move comes a day after Hadi had formed a new government, according to an agreement signed last week between representatives of the Houthi rebels and their political opponents, the Sunni Islamist Islah party in particular.

Yemen has seen intense clashes involving the Houthis, other tribes and al-Qaeda-linked fighters in major towns and cities over the recent weeks. In September, Houthi rebels gained control of the capital. They were supposed to withdraw from it following last week's agreement.

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