Yemen's Leader Proposes New Constitution

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The embattled leader of Yemen has offered to draw up a new constitution to end weeks of protests in his country.

In a speech at a stadium to thousands of supporters in Sanaa on Thursday, President Ali Abdulla Saleh pledged the new constitution would establish a separation of legislative and executive powers.

It also would make provisions for general elections to strengthen the role of parliament.

Saleh said he ordered the government to "fulfill the demands of the youth camping in Sanaa, Aden and Taiz and in other cities but without sit-ins or chaos."

Opposition leaders said the proposal has come much too late.

"The president's initiative has been overtaken by events and facts on the ground today, but if it came six months ago, the matter would be totally different," Opposition leader Yassin Said Numan told The Associated Press.

Nevertheless, Numan said the opposition parties would study the proposal before sending an official rejection back to Saleh.

Earlier this week, a government crack down on protestors left 98 people injured.

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