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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Yemeni president to stand again
President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Mr Saleh says he is bowing to popular pressure
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he intends to run for another term in office in elections this September.

The announcement at a supporter's rally in Sanaa reverses an earlier decision in which he said he would stand down.

Mr Saleh said he was responding to an appeal from the Yemeni people - his General People's Congress has failed to agree on a new presidential candidate.

He has led Yemen since the unification of north and south in 1990, before that he led North Yemen for 12 years.

Chants and poems

Last year, the president insisted that he would not seek re-election, but would leave the way open for other candidates in a peaceful transition of power.

"I comply with the people's pressure and upon the people's desire, I will in run the coming polls," Mr Saleh told the tens of thousands of supporters gathered in a square in the centre of the capital, Sanaa, as he announced his change of heart.

General People's Congress party members had been heavily pressing Mr Saleh to seek another seven-year term in office.

On Thursday the party had extended its conference until Saturday in a bid to break the deadlock over who should represent the party in the presidential elections in September.

In his speech Mr Saleh also spoke of "the chants, statements, messages, poems and calls by the scholars, intellectuals, civil society and political parties" calling on him to run again.




SEE ALSO
Deadlock over Yemeni succession
22 Jun 06 |  Europe
Yemen ruling party set for win
30 Apr 03 |  Middle East
Country profile: Yemen
28 Apr 06 |  Country profiles

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