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Rediff.com  » News » Yemeni President bows to protests; ready to step down

Yemeni President bows to protests; ready to step down

October 08, 2011 22:35 IST

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Saturday announced that he was ready to step down after incessant protests against his regime rocked the country for over eight months.

"I don't want power and I will give it up in the coming days," he said.

But Saleh refused to clarify who he will hand over the power to.

Taking on his opponents, Saleh said, "It is impossible to let them destroy the country".

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years, had earlier refused to step down and hand over power to the Opposition in spite of strong street protests against his rule virtually brining the country to a standstill.

In a virtual indictment of his regime, the Nobel Committee on Friday had awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman.

Karman is a staunch opponent of the Yemeni president and has repeatedly spoken out against his regime.