President dismisses Cabinet to ease tension
SANAA (AP):The Yemeni president yesterday dismissed the Cabinet, firing the prime minister for the first time in two years, while partially reversing an earlier decision to lift fuel subsidies in a bid to end a stand-off with Shiite rebels holding anti-government protests across the country.
Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made his decision during a meeting with the now outgoing government, representatives of political parties and parliament members, the official news agency SABA reported. The decisions came in response to an "initiative" submitted by a presidential committee formed by Hadi to examine peaceful resolutions for the Yemeni crisis.
"The nation is passing through tough times," the agency reported Hadi as saying during the meeting. "It is standing at a crossroad: either walk the path of life, development, and a new Yemen, or chaos, lawlessness and the unknown."
Hadi pledged to represent the interests of the Yemeni people as a whole and not privileged to particular factions or groups. He said he would appoint a new prime minister within a week, after which political parties will nominate Cabinet ministers from their own ranks. Hadi will appoint defence, interior, finance and foreign ministers, SABA said.
Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said his group rejected the move and would continue to pressure the government. "We are not giving in, but we will also not shut the door to dialogue."
Faris al-Saqqaf, Hadi's political adviser, told The Associated Press the rebels, known as Hawthis, had surprised him by reacting in what he described as a harsh and swift manner.