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Socialist likely to lead Yemen’s transitional government

November 26, 2011, 2:25 UTC+3

Bassandawa leads one of the main opposition groups - the National Council

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BEIRUT, November 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The transitional coalition government of national unity in Yemen is likely to be led by a Socialist, Mohammed Salem Bassandawa, who served in 1993-1994 as the country’s foreign minister. His candidacy, as it has been reported by sources in the Yemeni Socialist Party, is about to be proposed by Vice-President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who, according to the conciliatory agreement signed in Riyadh on Thursday between the government and the opposition, has taken over the powers of the head of state. Bassandawa leads one of the main opposition groups - the National Council.

Seats in the Cabinet will be distributed equitably between the opposition and the delegates of the General People's Congress, whose leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has agreed to early elections. Under the terms of the political deal the elections will be held at the end of January 2012. A candidate for the highest office will be selected on the basis of a consensus.

Despite the resolution of the crisis there was more fighting on Friday north of the capital between the military units that have defected to the opposition, and the Presidential Guard. Forces loyal to Saleh forces used aircraft for air strikes on enemy positions. In Sana soldiers from the armored brigade of rebel General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar were involved in gunfight in some areas with security forces under the command of the president’s nephew Yahya Saleh. In urban areas activists of the implacable opposition faction Youth of the Yemeni Revolution rallied in city squares on Friday to protest the political deal in Riyadh.

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