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Yemenis Head to the Polls; Arab Spring Claims Another Dictator

The Arab world's first female Nobel peace laureate, Tawakkul Karman, flashes victory sign and shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her vote outside a polling station in Sana'a. GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Yemenis took to the polls Tuesday to elect Ali Abdullah Saleh’s successor, officially making Saleh the fourth Arab leader to be ousted in the Arab Spring. But there was only one candidate on the ballot: Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Still, the “election” was less about the poll itself than getting Saleh out of office after 33 years in power.  U.S.-backed Hadi, who has been vice president since 1994, will be elected to a two-year transitional term during which time he has promised to restructure the armed forces, fight al Qaeda and implement political and economic reforms.

“I say farewell to the authority,” read a statement from Saleh on state TV on Monday. “I remain with you a citizen loyal to his homeland, his people and his nation as you have known me through thick and thin…I will perform my duty and my role in serving the country and its just causes…”

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