Yemen will go to the polls in February 21st 2012, following the ousting from power of President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier this year. Saleh had ruled Yemen for more than 30 years, but the country is now the fourth – after Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – to see a change of political system following the Arab Spring.
Saleh is stepping down as part of a US-backed deal that will grant him immunity from prosecution. Some in Yemen have expressed anger that Saleh has been given this protection, but others are sanguine and recognise that it was likely the only way he was ever going to step down.
Despite the clear political progress that has been made, protesters have remained on the streets of Yemen this weekend, concerned that Saleh could still play some political role in the country’s future. The terms of his resignation do not preclude such an eventality occurring in the near future.