Yemen turned a new page on Tuesday as 80 per cent of eligible voters came out to elect a new president.
It means the former leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh has, after a year-long uprising, finally been pushed from power after 33 years.
But even before the polls closed the outcome was known. With only one candidate standing, the former Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will be Yemen’s new leader.
However, the poll was not without problems and at least nine people were killed in the south where separatists demanded an election boycott.
The UN’s envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar gave a stern warning: “No one is allowed to use violence in order to put obstacles in front of the election process. The Security Council resolution is very clear by calling all on parties not to use violence as a tool for political achievements.”
But despite the violence the high turn out in Yemen’s first free vote for decades should lend Hadi the legitimacy he needs to carry out changes outlined in a US-backed transfer deal brokered by Yemen’s Gulf neighbours. They include the drafting of a new constitution and holding multi-party elections in two years time.