Ali Abdullah Saleh


Major Ali Abdullah Saleh

Person

Ali Abdullah Saleh

Major Ali Abdullah Saleh was declared President of the northern Yemen Arab Republic in July 1978, with his General People's Congress (GPC) party dominating the politics of the Republic of Yemen for the first two decades of its existence, despite the establishment of a multi-party parliamentary democracy.

In 1982 he founded the GPC party based on the broad tenets of Arab Nationalism as an umbrella organisation for political activity in the single-party state. Alongside the South Yemeni leader Ali Salim al-Bidh he signed the agreement for the unification of the two Yemens in May 1990, and fought against al-Bidh's attempt at secession in the 1994 civil war. Saleh and the GPC dominated the politics of the Republic of Yemen for the first two decades of its existence, despite the establishment of a multi-party parliamentary democracy. Following the youth uprisings of 2011, and a bitter confrontation with his regime rivals, General Ali Mohsin and the al-Ahmar family, he was forced to step down after 34 years in power in February 2012 as part of the comprehensive Gulf Cooperation Council Agreement.

Thanos Petouris, SOAS, University of London