Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh acknowledged there are deep differences between his party and allies and voiced his willingness to end the alliance with Ansar Allah, i.e. the Houthis, shall disputes with them continue.
In an address broadcast by almotamar.net, which is the General People's Congress’ official website, Saleh commented on signs that the Houthis object to the ceremony which the party will hold in Sanaa on Thursday to mark its 35th anniversary.
“Sanaa is for everyone,” Saleh said on Sunday, adding that attempts to incite chaos in the city will fail.
The Houthis have controlled Sanaa since September 2014. The ceremony which the General People's Congress wants to hold on Thursday has made the Houthis suspicious and triggered them to call for opposing gatherings at Sanaa’s entrances on the same day in an attempt to prevent Saleh’s supporters from entering the city and attending the celebration.
Saleh called on his supporters not to be dragged into violence especially after pictures of him and banners installed in Al Sabeen Square where the ceremony will be held were torn apart on Saturday night.
According to photos published on social media networks by activists from the General People's Congress, billboards bearing Saleh’s pictures and party slogans were torn apart and damaged. The activists accused the Houthis of destroying the billboards.
During his address, Saleh also voiced surprise that the Houthis called on their supporters to gather in Sanaa’s entrances on Thursday – the same day as the ceremony’s – and asked: “Does this aim to prevent (supporters) from other governorates and districts from not attending the celebrations?”
In terms of his dispute with the Houthis, Saleh said that his party agreed with the Houthis on “real partnership” but the “revolutionary committee” affiliated with the Houthis, and which they agreed to dissolve, is the one in control of the political council, which is in charge of managing the areas controlled by the Houthis and Saleh’s loyalists.
Saleh’s statements came few hours after Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi slammed Saleh and his party and said that his group was “being backstabbed.”
Yemen’s Saleh voices willingness to end alliance with Houthis