Yemen's Hadi seeks to resume duties as president

By REUTERS
February 22, 2015 17:03
1 minute read.

 
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ADEN - Yemen's president sought to resume his duties as head of state on Sunday, holding his first public engagement with state officials since he fled house arrest in Sanaa by the Houthi group that dominates the northern half of the country.

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi convened governors of several southern provinces and military commanders at the presidential retreat in the economic hub of Aden, in a meeting which was broadcast on the city's local television channel.

Hadi submitted his resignation last month after Shi'ite Muslim Houthi fighters seized the presidential palace and held him under house arrest in the capital Sanaa in a power struggle that followed months of tension over a constitutional dispute.

But the Yemeni parliament had never convened to approve the resignation for it to go into effect as stipulated by Yemeni laws.

On Saturday Hadi appeared to rescind his resignation after he escaped from Sanaa, saying in a statement he was still president. Aden is firmly outside the control of the Houthis.

Sources at the meeting said Hadi re-affirmed his commitment to a 2011 Gulf-sponsored power transfer deal that allowed his predecessor, veteran Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down following months of Arab Spring protests.

He also slammed the Houthi group, which seized Sanaa in September and completed its takeover of the government last month.

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