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Yemen President Proposes Drawing Up New Constitution

President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemen's longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh today proposed the drawing up of a new constitution, in an attempt to meet opposition demands as antigovernment protests escalate across the country.

Saleh said in a televised address that the new constitution would guarantee the separation of legislative and executive powers and prepare for the holding of new general elections that would assure an effective parliamentary rule.

Saleh spoke to thousands of supporters gathered at a football stadium in the capital, Sanaa.

An opposition spokesman said the proposals did not meet the protesters' demands and that the move was "too late."

Yemen has been rocked by weeks of protests against Saleh, a key U.S. ally in the campaign against Al-Qaeda who has been in power 32 years.

compiled from agency reports