In the face of international pressure for Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, Yemeni opposition figures are speculating that the president will try his best to avoid complying with the GCC power-transition initiative.
To reach a middle ground where he will not actually relinquish power while also not directly rejecting the GCC initiative that was met with international support, Saleh is expected to establish a military council under the leadership of his vice president, Abd Rabou Mansour.
“The council will be made up of Saleh’s closest aides,” said Houreya Mashhour, spokesperson of the National Council of Revolutionary Forces.
Mashhour supported her speculation by stating that Saleh kept beating around the bush for a long time then delegated the vice president to open dialogue about the GCC initiative rather than sign it right away.
“He did that despite the fact that political powers agreed on the terms of the initiative with UN envoy Jamal bin Omar.”
Mashhour stressed that a continuation of escalation and the insistence of revolutionaries on remaining in the street until the regime is fully ousted constitute the best approach to the crisis in Yemen.
Mohamed Ali Abu Lahoum, head of the Justice and Building Bloc and a member of the National Council of Revolutionary Forces, agreed with Mashhour and argued that Saleh is currently investigating with his top aides the means to evade the GCC initiative.
“Establishing a military council is one of those options and will serve as a preemptive measure to an expected Security Council resolution against his regime,” he told Al Arabiya.
According to Abu Lahoum, Saleh’s unwillingness to abide by the initiative is the ultimate proof that the regime has no credibility on both the regional and the international levels.