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Posted on: February 25th, 2012 by Julie Jalloul No Comments

Yemen’s new President sworn in

photo: IRIN/Adel Yahya

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The new president of Yemen Abd Rambo Mansour Hadi was sworn in on Saturday and pledged to “defend the country’s unity, independence and territorial integrity ‘, according to Yemeni State TV. Yemen’s first new president  formally ended Saleh’s decades-long rule after a year of protests that paralysed the impoverished country.

6.6 million votes out of the potential 10.2 million went to Hadi, according to Election commission chief Mohammed Al-Hakimi. More than  99 per cent of the 6.6 million votes cast were for Hadi.  The remaining 25,000 ballots casts were invalid. The only choice on the ballot was to vote “yes” for Hadi. Hadi, Yemen’s former vice president, assumes office as part of a transitional deal brokered by Gulf countries and backed by Western powers to end months of deadly unrest in which thousands regularly took to the streets to call for Saleh to go in one of the Arab Spring’s most enduring uprisings.  Hadi stood as the sole candidate to replace Saleh in a power transfer deal backed by Gulf countries and  Western powers.

After his inauguration, the new president sent a message that Yemen must now tackle pressing issues sucha as Yemen’s economic problems  and promised to initiate a dialogue with all political forces to restore security ” where in its absence  any economic growth would be impossible” and “continue the fight against Al Qaeda,” he continued.  The new president called on his countrymen to open a new chapter on “Building a Yemen which will encompass all citizens.”

Hadi, elected for a transitional two-year term, will assume his new duties Monday at the presidential palace where they will officially receive the reins of the country by Saleh.While Saleh returned early today in Sana’a from a trip for medical reasons in the U.S. and settled in his private residence, according to political sources in Yemen, reported Al Jazeera.

 

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