Yemen Opposition Coalition Unveils Plan to End Month-long Unrest

The plan outlines an arrangement under which Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh would step down with his powers transferred to the vice president; there has been no reaction from the ruling party.

Yemen's opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), has unveiled a plan to end the unrest that has rocked the Middle Eastern country for over a month.

The document, published late Saturday, outlined an arrangement under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh would step down with his powers transferred to the vice president.

Yemen demonstration protest – AP – 27.3.11
AP

The plan came following the mass demonstration of thousands of anti-Saleh protestors in the capital, Sana'a, and elsewhere on Saturday.

The JMP further advocated that a provisional national council be created, with the opposition leading an interim national unity government.

The plan also stipulated that the right to peaceful protest and demonstration would be guaranteed, with a supreme commission overseeing all elections and referendums.

There was no immediate reaction from the ruling General Peoples Congress (GPC).

JMP spokesman Mohammed Qahtan told Al Jazeera this plan would be the "last option" for Saleh to ensure a smooth and honorable transfer of power.

If Saleh rejects the JMP plan, the political decision would move "to the street", he added.

Security forces have repeatedly attacked protesters calling for Saleh's ouster, with at least 52 dead and hundreds injured thus far.

"The JMP are responsible for all this bloodshed, they are behind this crisis, and they are responsible for causing panic and unrest among citizens," Saleh said on Saturday.

Demonstrations began in Yemen in February, following popular uprisings that led to the deposal of long-time leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

President Saleh has been in power since 1978 and is a key US ally in its fight against al-Qaida.