Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi resigned from his office on Thursday after Houthi rebels stormed his residence and clashed with government forces in recent days, the Al Arabiya News Channel reported
After refusing Hadi’s resignation, the country’s parliament called for an emergency session to convene on Friday.
Houthi rebels welcomed Hadi’s step-down, Reuters news agency reported citing a statement by the militant group.
“We apologize to you personally and to the honorable chamber and to the Yemeni people after we reached a dead end," a government spokesman quoted Hadi’s resignation letter as saying.
“We have suffered from numerous difficulties and the unwillingness of the main political actors to assume their responsibility to lead the country to calmer waters,” the letter addressed to the speaker of parliament, who becomes interim head of state under the constitution, said.
The United States said Thursday it was assessing fast moving events in Yemen but still supports a peaceful political transition, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Our team is seeking confirmation of all of the reports,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, adding that so far there was no move to close the U.S. embassy in the capital, Sanaa.
“We continue to support a peaceful transition. We've urged all parties and continue to urge all parties to abide by ... the peace and national partnership agreement,” she stressed.
A deepening crisis
Four south Yemen provinces said they would not carry orders coming from Sanaa after Hadi quit, Agence France-Presse reported.
Basim al-Hakimi, member of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) told Al Arabiya News Channel that the resignation of Hadi and his government could plunge the country in a “constitutional vacuum.”
He said Hadi’s resignation was the result of “Houthi rebels’ intransigence,” adding that the international community should step in and “force the Houthi rebels to pull back from the capital.”
The alternative he said is a likely constitutional declaration by the Houthi rebels that gives them official control over state institutions, which they already control militarily.
Abd Nasser Al Mouda'a, a Yemeni political analyst, meanwhile, told Al Arabiya News that Hadi’s resignation cannot be reversed by the parliament and that the head of the parliament is now the who is constitutionally entitled to take charge of the country.
Houthis propose ‘presidential council’
A senior leader of the Houthi group proposed setting up a presidential council that would include Houthi-led groups, the army and some political parties, Reuters news agency reported.
Abu al-Malek Yousef al-Fishi, seen as the ideologue of the Houthis’ Ansarullah group, described the resignation as good news for all Yemenis and said on Twitter that the Arab country was heading towards “security, stability, tranquillity and prosperity.”
“I propose setting up a presidential council of the honorable revolutionary and political components, and in which the army, security and the popular committees will be represented, so everybody will participate in managing what remains of the transitional period,” he added in another tweet.
But Abdelmalek al-Ejri, a member of the Ansarullah politburo, suggested that comments on social media by some Houthi leaders did not represent the Shi’ite movement’s official position on the departures of Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah.
“Until this moment, no official position has been issued regarding the resignation of Hadi and Bahah,” he said on Twitter.
Hadi’s resignation came shortly after Prime Minister Khalid Bahah tendered the resignation of his cabinet, saying he did not want to be held responsible for the deepening lawlessness gripping the country.
Speaking to Al Arabiya News channel, Yemen’s cabinet spokesperson said that the government resignation was irreversible.
Baha said in the letter offering his government's resignation that it did not want to be dragged into “an unconstructive political maze”, according to a text of the document posted on his Facebook page.
The government did not wish to be “dragged into an unconstructive political maze that is not based on law or order”, according to the Facebook posting.
Bahah’s government, composed of technocrats and politicians drawn from a range of parties, was named in November and won a parliamentary vote of confidence the following month.
The resignation comes a day after Hadi and Houthi rebels had reached an agreement under which the militia group would withdraw from government buildings in return for concessions over a draft constitution.
[With AFP and Reuters]SHOW MORE