Yemen: Successful Election Ends President Saleh’s Rule
Yemeni anti-government protesters in Sanaa attend a celebration to mark the end of the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, February 22, 2012. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
February 23, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
The election of Yemen’s vice president to replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh marks the latest Arab leader to be ousted by popular sentiment since last year's Arab Spring protests began. The new president faces formidable challenges, however -- from Iran, the Saleh family and from various terrorist groups as he works to restore order. With a voter turnout of close to 60 percent, the election lent legitimacy to a transition of power made necessary by a year of massive protests in Yemen spurred by the Arab Spring. However, secessionist movements backed by Iran and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continue to threaten the stability of Yemen, while President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return to Yemen for the inauguration of Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi, the former vice president, could prompt a further surge of violence and protests.
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