The Yemeni cabinet has approved the draft of a law that will give President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution.
The draft was submitted to parliament for approval and is expected to be approved within days, said Yahya al-Arasi, a senior vice presidential aide.
Ghaleb al-Odaini, the spokesman for the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), said the law will pass but expect lawmakers to make changes to it before approving it.
Under the terms of a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered deal, Saleh has agreed to step down as president on February 21 in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
The law, if approved in its current form, will also give immunity to officials who worked under Saleh during his 33-year rule.
A day after the draft was approved, thousands of protesters rallied Monday in more than a dozen provinces against the proposal.
Some waved banners that showed a picture of Saleh holding a butcher knife in his bloodied hands.
Other, however, saw the merit in the proposal.
"We are against the immunity bill, but it will play a big role in ending the Saleh family rule in Yemen and give us a chance to build a new nation," said Abdullah al-Kuraimi, a youth activist in Sanaa.FULL STORY