From Al Jazeera:
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2011 15:19 GMT
Seven members of Yemen‘s parliament have resigned from President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ruling party to protest against what they described as government violence against demonstrators, the parliamentarians have said.
“The people must have the right to demonstrate peacefully,” Abdulaziz Jubari, a leading parliamentarian who has resigned, told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
Jubari said the parliamentarians had sent a 10-point letter to Saleh with demands for immediate reform, including restructuring the army to make it more representative of Yemen’s complex society and to aid a transition to democracy.
Among those who resigned is tribal leader Abdo Bisher from the Sanaa region and two figures from southern Yemen.
The resignations raises to nine the number of legislators who left Saleh’s General Ruling Congress Party since protests began earlier this month.
Saleh still has around 240 members out of the 301-strong parliament, which the opposition says was a result of unfair elections and the use of state machinery to elect Saleh’s allies.
On Wednesday, thousands streamed into a square in the capital, Sanaa, trying to strengthen the hold of anti-government protesters after the president’s supporters tried to disperse them.
One person was killed and at least 12 injured in the clashes late on Tuesday near Sanaa University, medics said. A local human rights group gave a higher toll, saying two people were killed and 18 injured.
In the port city of al-Mukalla in eastern Yemen, thousands of protesters, many of them school students, marched through the streets, chanting, “The people want the downfall of the regime.”
Demonstrators overturned and set fire to a government car and threw stones at the police who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.
Medical officials at a local hospital said a 16-year-ol boy was seriously injured when a tear gas canister struck his face.
In the port city of Aden, a 19-year-old man wounded last week died of his injuries on Wednesday, medics said. His death brought to 13 the number of demonstrators killed since the crisis began nearly a month ago.
The US-backed Saleh, in power for 32 years, has said he will step down after national elections are held in 2013. But a widening protest movement, inspired by successful uprising in Egypt and Tunisia, demands that he leave office now.
Saleh’s government was already weak before the protests erupted. Itt faces an al-Qaeda branch, a southern separatist movement and disaffected tribesmen around the country.
Leading anti-poverty charity War on Want branded David Cameron’s call today for EU aid to be stripped from Middle East countries which fail to “reform” a desperate attempt to distract from Britain’s own bloody role in the region: here.