Middle East

Yemeni vice-president sets snap election date

Ali Abdullah Saleh signs transition deal (23/11/11)
President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a transition deal on Wednesday

Yemen will hold a snap presidential election on 21 February 2012, according to a decree signed by the country's Vice-President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The move is part of a transition deal agreed this week which sees President Ali Abdullah Saleh hand power to Mr Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.

Mr Saleh signed the accord on Wednesday after months of delays, despite mounting opposition to his rule.

He has ruled the country for 33 years.

A crackdown on anti-government protests, as well as clashes with tribes opposed to the government, has left hundreds dead since February.

Under the deal, brokered by the Gulf Co-operation Council, Mr Hadi was to call for early presidential elections within 90 days.

He is expected to form a national unity government ahead of the polls.

Prior to the deal, the election had been due to take place in 2013.