SANAA // Yemen's political parties began a campaign yesterday to urge citizens to vote in this month's presidential election in which there is only one candidate.
Abdurabu Mansur Hadi, the interim leader and vice president, has been endorsed by all parties represented in parliament and will be elected to replace Ali Abdullah Saleh on February 21.
Mr Hadi will run the country during a two-year transition period in which a new constitution will be drafted and the armed forces restructured.
In a meeting attended by representatives of political parties that signed the GCC deal that led to Mr Saleh's stepping down, Mr Hadi said Yemen had crossed the most difficult phase in the political crisis.
"The citizens cannot afford any more suffering and our meeting today carries a message of hope to the people who suffered a lot," he said. "The wheel of change has started to move forward ... We must bet on building Yemen free from terrorism, extremism, corruption and sectarianism."
Signs of the election were already present. "Your vote protects Yemen," read a giant poster on Hadaa Street in the capital, depicting a smiling woman as she places her ballot into a voting box.