Yemen's transition to a new leadership is continuing, with a new prime minister named to oversee the transition of power from President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who recently agreed to step down after decades in power.
Saleh's vice president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, named Mohammed Basindwa to serve as prime minister until the new government takes office, after elections scheduled for February 21, 2012. Basindwa was foreign minister from 1993 to 1994 but this year has been at the forefront of the 10-month movement against Saleh.
Basindwa's task might well prove a difficult one. Saleh's authoritarian rule has divided the country, with him and his powerful allies on one side and on the other side the common people, who have taken to the streets repeatedly in recent weeks and months, following in the protests of similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Saleh, who has been the country's leader for 33 years, agreed to remove himself from office only on condition of his being granted immunity from prosecution. His final agreement to leave followed months of protests, an assassination attempt, and several previous agreements, all reneged on by him at the last minute. Once the strongman in a politically chaotic country, Saleh has found himself abandoned by many former allies, including key military commanders.