posted on WED 23 NOV 2011 3:48 PM
Yemen Consultations on Monday Following Power Transfer Deal

On Monday morning (28 November), Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen Jamal Benomar is scheduled to brief Council members in consultations on Yemen. The anticipated briefing by Benomar comes after Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday (23 November) agreeing to transfer power within 30 days. (The briefing had been scheduled to take place on 21 November, but had been postponed at Benomar’s behest as negotiations on a deal continued.)

It appears Benomar is likely to update the Council on the recent developments in Yemen, including details of the deal signed by Saleh, and their implications in terms of resolution 2014. (Resolution 2014, which was unanimously adopted on 21 October, endorsed the GCC initiative for a peaceful transition of power and requested the Secretary-General to regularly report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution.)

It seems that the signing of the GCC initiative and the accompanying implementation mechanism signifies the beginning of a transition of power from Saleh to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi. (Saleh’s signing of the initiative automatically commits him to the implementation mechanism and the two are to be considered jointly.) As expected, under the deal Saleh is granted immunity from prosecution. According to the agreement, Hadi is now responsible for overseeing the implementation of the signed agreements.

It appears that under the terms of the deal, Hadi will preside over a national unity coalition government and call for “early presidential elections” to take place within 90 days. According to the agreement, Saleh would remain an “honorary president” for three months. After that time, Hadi would be expected to become the new president, as the consensus candidate agreed by all sides. It is anticipated that Hadi would then oversee national dialogue to consider proposals for constitutional reform. These options would include, it seems, replacing the presidential system with a multi-party parliamentary system, which would be decided by a popular referendum, and restructuring the military.

Vice President Hadi is additionally tasked with presiding over a “high committee for security and achieving stability”, which would seek to negotiate the demilitarisation of the capital, Sanaa.

The GCC initiative and the implementation mechanism also seemed to stipulate that government ministries will be composed of a 50/50 split of opposition and current ruling party figures.