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US official: Outgoing Yemen strongman won't return to his country until after next week's vote
WASHINGTON (AP) ' A U.S. official says Yemen's longtime strongman will wait for a vote next week on a new interim president before returning home.
Ali Abdullah Saleh (AH'-lee ahb-DUH'-luh sah-LEH') has been in the United States since last month to receive treatment for injuries sustained in an assassination attempt last year.
The Obama administration has pressed the 69-year-old Saleh not to return until after Tuesday's rubber-stamping of Yemen's vice president as the new leader.
Saleh is accused of rights abuses in a crackdown on protesters. Opponents fear he'll continue to wield power behind the scenes.
But a U.S. official says Saleh will wait until Wednesday to return. The official isn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter and demanded anonymity.
The administration hopes Yemen can become a democracy after Saleh's 34-year autocracy.