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Yemeni president calls for holding early presidential elections

SANAA, May 20 (Xinhua) — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday called for holding early presidential elections to end domestic political crisis when speaking to tens of thousands of his supporters gathering near the presidential palace in capital Sanaa.

“We call for holding an early presidential election in democratic way and for peaceful power transition to avoid bloodshed,” Saleh said.

In his short speech, Saleh dubbed the four-month-old anti- government protests, which demand his immediate ouster and prosecution, as “coup movement against the constitutional legitimacy”, accusing the protesters of western-backed collaborators.

Saleh, who faced high pressure to end his three-decade rule, mentioned no word about the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal that proposed to ease his peaceful resignation within a month.

However, a Saudi diplomat in Sanaa told Xinhua the “GCC- mediated deal has apparently fell through after GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani left Sanaa on Wednesday evening following Saleh’s the second time refusal to sign it.”

“We have been tipped that Saleh is gearing up for exploding a military war … and what the ruling party has announced that Saleh would ink the GCC deal on Sunday is one of Saleh’s maneuver to gain more time,” the diplomat told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Like each Friday, crowds of pro-and anti-government demonstrators rattled the country’s major provinces.

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