Houthi leader calls protest against Yemen’s new PM

Abdulmalik al-Houthi appealed to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to reconsider the appointment

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The leader of the Houthi group which seized control of Yemen's capital last month called on Wednesday for a mass protest in Sanaa on Thursday against what he termed foreign intervention in choosing a new prime minister.

Abdulmalik al-Houthi warned in a televised speech that the protest would be accompanied by other, unspecified measures, and appealed to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to reconsider the appointment.

“I assert that together with these marches tomorrow, God willing there will be important steps that will contribute to correcting this mistake, which is an unacceptable mistake.”

Hadi announced on Tuesday he would appoint Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, the head of his office, as Yemen's new prime minister after promising to reshape the government as part of a deal following the Houthis' takeover of Sanaa on Sept. 21.

In his speech, Houthi said Hadi had promised him that Mubarak would not be appointed but had changed his mind after meeting the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa. Washington is worried that instability in Yemen could strengthen al-Qaeda and has supported a political transition since 2012 led by Hadi.

The Houthis, members of the Zaydi sect of Shi'ite Islam that predominates in northern Yemen, rejected the appointment of Mubarak on Tuesday, but their leader's remarks raised the prospect of a more forceful attempt to make Yemen's new premier quit.

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