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Shadow government formed in Yemen

Even as antigovernment protesters in Yemen struggled to revitalise their movement, sketching somewhat shaky plans over the weekend for a transitional government, they produced a show of their core strength, taking to the streets in huge numbers on Sunday to protest the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2011 23:54 IST

Even as antigovernment protesters in Yemen struggled to revitalise their movement, sketching somewhat shaky plans over the weekend for a transitional government, they produced a show of their core strength, taking to the streets in huge numbers on Sunday to protest the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It was the 33rd anniversary of Saleh's rule, dubbed a "day of rage" by the protesters, tens of thousands of whom turned out across the country. The president's supporters also turned out to demonstrate on his behalf, although in smaller number.

The protest leaders' announcement of a planned shadow government represents their strongest effort yet to bring some structure and organisation to the disparate groups of mostly youthful demonstrators who have rocked the country for months.

But the move also reflected their fundamental fragmentation and disorganisation, with the announcement taking many of the people named as leaders of the transitional government by surprise.

Nor was it clear what role the shadow government would play, what its relationship would be with the formal political opposition or how much support it had.