SANA, Yemen, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's decision to let his deputy negotiate a possible transition of power was brushed aside by some opponents and protesters.
Saleh said in the decree, published Monday by the state-run Saba news agency, that Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi "has the constitutional authority to conduct a dialogue" and sign a deal with signatories to the Gulf Cooperation Council, The New York Times reported.
The council initiative, negotiated by Persian Gulf states with the support of the United States and other Western nations, would give Saleh immunity from prosecution in return for early presidential elections.
Saleh was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, recovering from wounds he suffered when a bomb exploded in a mosque in the presidential palace in June.
For months, he has rejected international pressure to surrender power while Islamic militants have gained control of parts of the country and protesters continue their sit-in in the capital.
The formal opposition, the Joint Meetings Parties, wants Saleh to resign before working out details and worries he will maneuver to allow his return to the presidency.
"Any talk of dialogue before the signing of the GCC initiative is a waste of time," Mohammed Qahtan, a leading JMP member, said in a statement. "The revolution is proceeding and will not pay any attention to any of this nonsense."
And Hussein Moghram, a 26-year-old protester at the sit-in, told the Times, "Our demand is clear -- that Saleh and his family need to go without any negotiations."