Saleh’s Health Fuels Doubts in Yemen

 Saleh’s injuries will prevent him from performing his duties for several months, which increases uncertainty in the country, according to a senior Yemeni official who is familiar with the matter.

Yemen lives a state of stalemate since Saleh departed to Saudi Arabia for medical surgery.

Thousands continue demonstrating across Yemen. The economy is collapsing. But Saleh’s relatives insist on staying in power, alleging they must be there to protect the country from Islamists, who seek to control power.

They also keep saying Saleh is coming back soon. Saleh’s absence was supposed to lead to power transfer and transitional period. The opposition, the US and some ruling party members were happy this would happen easier in Saleh’s absence.

On the contrary, his absence aggravated the crisis as Islamists got more powerful in the south.

“We face a political and military standstill. What we’re doing? We need to think how to get out of the crisis,” said Abdul Karim Eryani, former PM and presidential adviser.

Some proposals are at hand such as forming a national unity government. That proposal was introduced by some GCC countries led by Riyadh. It is largely backed by western countries.

Noteworthy, Saleh accepted that proposal before he got injured, but refused to sign it.

Now: Saleh is no longer able to run the country…his relatives are the main obstacle because they occupy high posts in the security institution such as his son and three of his nephews.

Yemeni officials call that group “the alternatives”. They reject the legitimacy of the more than 5-month-old revolt.

Brigadier Gen. Yahya Saleh – one of Saleh’s nephews- said in an interview at his office at the headquarters of the semi-military central security forces, which he leads: “The problem is that the world thinks it is a youth revolution. How many people stand there in squares? Do they represent the majority? Can the minority rule the majority in a democratic country? They should show some self-respect and get back to their homes. Five months passed and the situation got really ridiculous.”

Analysts say the situation has not worsened in Yemen because the anti- and pro-Saleh groups are armed.

Brig. Gen. Saleh also said: “The Americans mistake when supporting any change that may help extremists and Muslim Brotherhood to control power.”

He said any attempt to help moderate Islamists play a role in the political process will be faced strongly by reform party extremists.