The umbrella group of Yemeni opposition groups has rejected President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s offer to step down after organizing a parliament “before the end of 2011 to pave the way for parliament to elect a new president at the beginning of 2012,” news agencies say. The president’s offer came as pressure for him to leave office escalates, with members of his own tribe joining calls demanding his resignation, The Washington Post says. Saleh’s government also came under international backlash following the death of 52 protesters in a violent crackdown of demonstrations in Sanaa on March 18.
The United Nations, United States, European Union, Canada and others condemn the crackdown and called on Saleh to fulfill his promise of protecting peaceful demonstrations. On March 20, Saleh fired his Cabinet but asked officials to stay until a new one was appointed. The dismissal followed the resignation of two top Yemeni officials in protest of the March 18 crackdown on demonstrations, CNNreports.