Feb. 19 - Yemen prepares for presidential election Tuesday despite security concerns. Lindsey Parietti reports.
Despite fears of attacks from Islamist militants, many Yemenis appear determined to carry out presidential elections as planned. After last year's anti-government protests, President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed an agreement in November to relinquish power. His former deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is the only candidate in elections scheduled for Tuesday, but a political analyst says they are still significant. SOUNDBITE (English) YEMENI POLITICAL ANALYST NASSER AL-ROUBEI SAYING: "The majority of Yemenis are determined to hold this election and also the international community are very determined to have this elections because it is the vision for the stability of Yemen which is very important for the region and the international community." An opposition coalition spokesman was optimistic a new government would rein Al-Qaeda forces in. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SPOKESMAN FOR THE COALITION OF THE OPPOSITION PARTIES, ABDDO GHALEB SAYING: "Al Qaeda as an organisation will be cornered when we start building the foundation for a modern state, because we will have that positive environment that will lead to justice, equality, freedom and dignity for Yemenis, which will help in restricting the space that such organisation can manoeuvre within as well as its roll." Islamist militants shot dead a military officer and an election official last week in a town 130 km southeast of the capital. The recent attacks highlight militant groups' growing power amid the country's unrest. Lindsey Parietti, Reuters