Sana’a, March 10 (DPA) Yemen’s opposition parties rejected Thursday promises by President Ali Abdullah Saleh of reform and a new constitution, saying the initiatives were too little, too late.
The opposition coalition – known as the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) – said that the president’s reforms should have been announced when Saleh ascended to power 33 years ago.
“We were expecting Saleh to abandon power immediately,” said the JMP statement after the president made a speech to loyalists in the capital Sana’a.
Saleh had vowed earlier to oversee a new constitution that would be voted on before the end of the year.
Addressing thousands of supporters, Saleh also said he would give more powers to parliament and form a government of national unity that would prepare new electoral laws.
Anti-Saleh protesters continue to camp out in front of the presidential palace and Sana’a University, demanding the president’s ouster after weeks of deadly clashes during nationwide protests.
Earlier this week, one protester was killed and at least 80 others were injured after Yemeni police used live ammunition and tear gas in a bid to disperse protesters outside the University.