News24

US 'encouraged' by Yemen vote

2012-02-21 22:11

Washington - The United States said on Tuesday it was "encouraged" as Yemenis voted to end President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule and called for progress ahead in a transition to democracy.

"We are encouraged and we congratulate the Yemenis for really launching this process, taking ownership of it as a population, and we will stand with them as they take the next steps," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

"We consider it to be a very strong and positive referendum by the Yemeni people on the transition process that their leaders have agreed to," she told reporters.

Only one candidate was on the ballot, Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi , who will lead Yemen for a two-year interim period as stipulated by a Gulf-brokered power-transition deal signed by Saleh in November.

Nuland acknowledged that a one-person vote was not a "true democracy" but called it a "beginning point" for a more competitive process.

"After they have a new constitution, our expectation is it will lead to full, free, fair, multi-party, multi-candidate elections, both for the legislature and for the executive," Nuland said.

Saleh is in the United States for treatment of burn wounds he suffered when his presidential palace was attacked in June.

Comments
  • Fred - 2012-02-22 00:06

    Congratulations!

  • Jerzy - 2012-02-22 08:21

    I'm so overwhelmed that the US is "encouraged" by the Yemeni vote. I find it rather amusing that all the usual news24 suspects who who are undeniably critical of all countries (race related) other than European and the US are missing in action. It is blatantly obvious that Saleh was "allowed" to rule with an iron fist for more than 3 decades and this referendum is nothing more than a continuation of his misguided policies.

      Fred - 2012-02-22 08:50

      'Allowed to rule"? Are you suggesting the US should have invaded Yemen and removed Saleh from power?

  • Jerzy - 2012-02-22 08:23

    Saleh is on vacation in the US while the citizens of Yemen have to contend with being the poorest Arab nation on Earth. Hand him over to his people and let them decide his fate. QUIT PROTECTING HIM!!!

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