Yemen sacks Saleh’s military cronies

Updated 20 December 2012
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Yemen sacks Saleh’s military cronies

SANAA: President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has dramatically restructured Yemen’s military to curb the influence of those linked to toppled strongman Abdullah Ali Saleh.
In a series of decisions announced late on Wednesday, Hadi scrapped the elite Republican Guard commanded by Saleh’s oldest son Ahmed and removed Saleh’s nephew, Yehya, from his powerful post as deputy chief of central security.
Hadi took over the reins of power in Yemen less than a year ago, after veteran strongman Saleh stepped down under a power transition agreement mediated by the Gulf Cooperation Council, following a year-long uprising against his rule.
“Restructuring the army is a must,” GCC chief Abdulatif Al-Zayani told Hadi in a phone call, congratulating him on the steps “tied to implementing the Gulf initiative... and UN Security Council resolutions,” Saba state news agency said.
Zayani stressed “the support of GCC states for those decisions,” it reported.
With the restructuring of the military and elimination of the powerful Republican Guard, Yemen’s army now consists of three main branches: ground forces, navy and the air force.


Lebanese expats in the Middle East cast early ballots for parliamentary elections

Updated 16 min 26 sec ago
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Lebanese expats in the Middle East cast early ballots for parliamentary elections

BEIRUT: Lebanese expats are casting ballots in six Arab countries in the region, ahead of parliamentary elections due in Lebanon on May 6.
The voting abroad marks the first time that expats are allowed to participate in parliamentary elections.
The voting on Friday is being held in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt.
It will be followed by voting Sunday for Lebanese residing in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Africa.
Lebanon’s state-run news agency says the number of registered voters is 82,970.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tweeted that he was “very proud” to witness the first expat voting in the history of the Lebanese republic.
Lebanon is to hold its first parliamentary elections in nine years next month after parliament postponed elections several times over security reasons.