Last updated: 4 February, 2015

Yemen parties still haggling as Shiite deadline passes

Parties were still discussing a possible solution to Yemen’s political crisis on Wednesday afternoon as a deadline set by Shiite militia in control of the capital was expiring, sources said.

On Sunday, the so-called Huthi militia set a three-day deadline for the parties to resolve the power vacuum in Yemen since the president and prime minister offered to resign last month.

They and their allies urged the parties “to reach a solution and fill the vacuum,” saying that otherwise the “revolutionary leadership” would “take care of the situation of the state.”

They did not elaborate.

It was not immediately clear whether the parties which the political sources said were meeting on Wednesday would come up with any concrete proposals.

The deadline was set in a statement issued at the end of a three-day meeting in Sanaa attended by the party of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh but boycotted by the other major political movements.

The announcement was loudly applauded by thousands who took part in the forum, including tribal chiefs and officers in military uniform.

The Huthis, who overran Sanaa in September, seized the presidential palace and key government buildings on January 20.

That plunged the country deeper into crisis and prompting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his premier to tender their resignations.

Opponents have staged demonstrations against the Huthis in several cities under the slogan: “Revolt until the overthrow of the coup” forces.

UN envoy Jamal Benomar has said Hadi and his cabinet are effectively under house arrest, warning that violence could erupt at any time.

The crisis has raised fears that impoverished Yemen, which lies next to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, could become a failed state.