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65 per cent of Yemeni voters pick a new president

Associated Press
Feb 25, 2012 at 01:45pm IST

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Sanaa: Yemen's election commission says that 65 per cent of registered voters in the country cast their ballot for Vice President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi in this week's single-candidate presidential election aimed at bringing an end to months of political turmoil.

The vote, part of a US-backed agreement to ease out of office longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh after almost a year of popular protests, made the Yemeni ruler the fourth leader to be pushed from power in the Arab Spring uprisings that erupted early last year. Saleh is the first of the leaders, however, to leave office in an internationally negotiated exit.

Election Commission chief Mohammed al-Hakimi said on Friday that 6.6 million votes out of a potential 10.2 million went to Hadi, who is expected to be sworn in Saturday.

65 per cent of Yemeni voters pick a new president

The vote is part of a US-backed agreement to ease out of office longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

More than 99 percent of the 6.6 million votes cast were for Hadi. The remaining 25,000 ballots cast were invalid. The only option on the ballot was to vote "yes" for Hadi.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner called the election "a positive step forward" and said "it speaks to the fact that Yemenis are ready to move on to their future."

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