Yemeni opposition figures hailed the formation of a National Council to lead the country through a political transition as the beginning of the end for President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s three decades in power.
“Yemen’s revolution was incomplete before the formation of the National Council,” Mohammed Dahiri, professor of political science at Sanaa University told Global Post.
“This ensures that the corrupt Saleh regime is coming to an end and has lost the legitimacy and support of the people.”
The 143-member elected council draws on a wide spectrum of Yemen’s opposition, from tribal leaders, youth protestors, the secessionist movement in south Yemen, military commanders and even former members of Saleh’s own ruling party.
The council will elect a president and executive body later this week with the aim of gradually taking control of Yemen’s state and working to gain international recognition as the legitimate representatives of the Yemeni people, much in the way of Libya’s National Transitional Council. The council also aims to unite Yemen’s fractured and disparate opposition, whose six-month campaign to oust Saleh had stalled as of late.