Bajammal is back after medical checkups [Archives:2007/1026/Local News]

February 19 2007

SANA'A, Feb. 18 ) Yemeni prime minister and the ruling party's secretary-general, Abdulqader Bajammal, arrived in Sana'a early Sunday morning after some medical checkups in London. Bajammal was received by his office manager, Ali Attef, accompanied with the government's master of ceremonies.

Some media outlets reported that Bajammal went to London for his annual vacation and to have the routine checkups, while others said he went due to differences with President Ali Abdullah Saleh regarding making a cabinet reshuffle.

However, Bajammal's return affirms that he was in London for a checkup. Yemen's Saba News Agency reported that he had some physical checkups, as well as a successful heart surgery in a hospital outside London.

The General People's Congress denied news by several local and foreign media alleging that a new government formation soon will be announced. Some news outlets even reported that one of the current cabinet ministers will replace Bajammal.

Any government reshuffle must be preceded by the current prime minister's resignation and his consent as the ruling party's secretary-general.

Some political observers believe President Saleh is facing a dilemma in choosing new cabinet ministers, adding that such official procedures must be done according to the Yemeni Constitution, particularly after news reports of foreign demand to replace Bajammal.

Such speculation comes at a time when Saleh says his party has many responsibilities ahead and he wants to put his platform into practice.