June 12 - With President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of the country, Yemeni protesters claim he has fallen and are pushing ahead with demands to form a transitional council. Simon Hanna reports.
upsot crowds chanting Protesters in the Yemeni capital demand a transitional council. They claim that President Ali Abdullah Saleh has fallen, and that it's time to focus on a transition to democracy. The Yemeni leader has not appeared in public since he was injured in an attack on his palace eight days ago which forced him to travel to Saudi Arabia for surgery. Demonstrators here are trying to pressure acting president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to form a transitional council. But they are also calling on Western powers to add to that pressure. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER MOHAMMED AL-ASSAL: "We want to give assurances to the Americans; we are now living without a government, with a constitutional vacancy. We ask them to stand by this nation and help form a transitional council. We, the youth, will escalate our protest and continue the presence in the square." Saleh's continued absence is seen by demonstrators as a first victory for the revolution. The president had until now withstood nearly six months of continued protests and multiple diplomatic attempts to ease him out. A group of opposition parties has told the ruling General People's Congress party it will form its own transitional assembly in a week if Saleh does not cede power. Simon Hanna, Reuters.