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Yemenis vote to elect new leader amid unrest

  • Yemeni voters head for the polls, ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule and thus making Yemen the first Arab state where a revolt has led to a negotiated settlement.
  • The referendum-like poll, in which Saleh's deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is standing as the sole consensus candidate, is being boycotted by two major opposition groups; the separatist Southern Movement and the northern Shiite rebels.
  • But the main proponents of the uprising that began in January 2011 have asked Yemenis to throw their support behind Hadi, whose posters have been plastered across buildings and throughout the streets of the capital Sanaa.
  • Yemen's new president will rule for an interim two-year period, after which presidential and parliamentary elections will be held, a condition of the Gulf-brokered transition deal signed by Saleh in November.


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