Yemen's president, who tendered his resignation last month, has claimed that he is still the country's legitimate leader. This came after he escaped from house arrest in the capital and fled to his southern power base.
Abed Rabbi Mansour Hadi sought to resume his duties as president as he convened a meeting of the governors of Yemen's six southern provinces in the economic hub of Aden on Sunday.
After the meeting, the governor of Aden, Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, told the AFP news agency that he and the other five governors had pledged their support for Hadi, who had resigned as president while under house arrest in the capital, Sanaa.
"The president will keep up his political efforts to lead from Aden," bin Habtoor said."His priority is to normalize the security situation in Aden in order to receive foreign delegates who have requested appointments to meet him," he added.
A statement released by the president's office after the meeting also asserted Hadi's determination to reassume power.
"Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi exercises his functions as president of the republic in Aden with legitimacy not subject to questioning," the statement said.
Escape from house arrest
The meeting came a day after Hadi arrived in Aden following his escape from house arrest in Sanaa. He was being held there by Shiite Houthi rebels, who had seized control of the capital back in September.
Hadi had tendered his resignation while under house arrest least month, but this was never ratified by parliament as legally required.
The Reuters news agency cited an unnamed source at Sunday's meeting, who said that Hadi had slammed the Houthis for their seizure of Sanaa and their takeover of the government.
"What is going on is a struggle for authority of the first order and not due to concern for the interests of the people," the source quoted Hadi as saying.
A presidential aide also told AFP that Hadi had called for a restart to a political transitional process that ground to a halt after the Houthis seized Sanaa.
"He underlined the need to implement the recommendations of the national dialogue," the aide said. The aide was referring to a plan that includes reforms aimed at transforming the republic into a federation of regions.
The ongoing political crisis has raised fears that the security situation in Yemen could unravel completely, resulting in a failed state.
pfd/gsw (Reuters, AP, AFP)