Last Updated: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:52 am (KSA) 07:52 am (GMT)

Yemen’s Hadi takes oath as new president, promises to ‘preserve country’s unity’

Yemeni vice president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took the oath of office as president on Saturday ahead of formal handover of power by veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Reuters)
Yemeni vice president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took the oath of office as president on Saturday ahead of formal handover of power by veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Reuters)

Longtime Yemeni vice president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi took the oath of office as president on Saturday ahead of formal handover of power by veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Hadi pledged to “preserve the country’s unity, independence and territorial integrity in a swearing-in ceremony in parliament broadcast live by state television.

Saleh, who arrived back in Sana’a from medical treatment in the United States earlier Saturday, is to formally transfer the reins of power in a ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday.

The handover will put the seal on a hard-won November transfer of power deal, under which Saleh agreed to step down in return for a controversial promise of immunity from prosecution over the deaths of hundreds of people during 10 months of protests against his 33-year rule.

Hadi, Yemen’s sole candidate, had received 99.8 percent of the valid votes cast, the country’s electoral commission announced on Friday.

According to the final results, 6,635,192 voters from an eligible electorate of 10,243,364 cast their ballots, a turnout of 66 percent, the commission said.

Hadi “will take the oath of office in parliament on Saturday, February 25, and the inauguration will follow on Monday, February 27, in a ceremony at the presidential palace during which Ali Abdullah Saleh will officially hand over power to him,” the commission added.

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