Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in comments published on Friday (September 30th) that he will not step down if opposition leaders are permitted to run for president to replace him, BBC News reported.
Saleh returned to Yemen last week after three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia for injuries sustained during a rocket attack on the presidential compound. Saleh returned as gun battles intensified in Sanaa between forces commanded by his son, Ahmed, and army factions that have joined the opposition.
"If we transfer power and [the opposition] are there, this will mean that we have given in to a coup," Saleh said. The president blamed the opposition for violence in Yemen, saying, "They assassinate protesters so they can blame the state."