Yemen’s Houthis demand the implementation of power-sharing deal

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The leader of the Al-Houthi rebels in Yemen, Abdel-Malek Al-Houthi, has demanded that President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi implement a power-sharing deal after the presidential palace in Sanaa was taken over by the rebels in a political stand-off.

Al-Houthi accused Hadi and other political leaders of putting their interests ahead of the Yemeni people and plotting to disrupt the implementation of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA), which was established after the Al-Houthis seized the capital in September.

In a televised address on Tuesday Al-Houthi said his group “will not hesitate to impose any necessary measures to implement the peace and partnership agreement” and accused Hadi of shielding corruption helping Al-Qaeda militants in the region to fight the group.

“All the options are open and without exception and the ceiling is very, very high. And this is why, I here advise the president … Implement this deal. It is for your benefit and for the benefit of your people,” he said.

Al-Houthi rebels, whose Shiite Muslim group is believed to be an ally of Iran, are seeking to widen their autonomy in the country.

Following continuous political and armed battles between rebel leaders and the government, they abducted presidential chief of staff Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak on Saturday, seized the presidential palace in Sanaa on Tuesday, and replaced the guards at the president’s residence.

The rebels further shelled the president’s house and is reportedly keeping him under house arrest.

However, a member of the Houthi politburo, Mohamed Al-Bukhaiti, told Reuters news agency: “President Hadi is still in his home. There is no problem, he can leave”.

Al-Houthis deny that they are staging a coup and pledged to withdraw from the capital once the PNPA is implemented, giving them a role in all military and civil state bodies.