Sanaa (Yemen): Yemen's opposition on Sunday has asked beleaguered President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to his Deputy with whom an agreement on transitional period could be negotiated, a statement said.

In a new "vision for a peaceful and secure transition of power" the Common Forum of opposition parties and their allies urged Saleh "to announce his resignation, so that his powers pass to his Deputy."

Vice President, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is a member of Saleh's ruling party, the General People's Congress.

The "temporary President" would then embark on revamping security apparatuses, the backbone of Saleh's regime, including the "National Security, State Security and the Presidential Guard," which would be controlled by the Ministries of Interior and Defence, the statement said.

"An agreement would be reached with the temporary President on the form of power during the transitional period, based on national consensus," it said.

It stipulated, however, the formation of a transitional national council, beginning a wide-reaching national dialogue, and forming a committee of specialists to draft constitutional reforms.

The opposition also demanded the establishment of temporary national unity government led by the opposition and encompassing "all political parties, (demonstrating) youth, and businessmen."

It also demanded a temporary military council be set up from "officers known for their competence and integrity, and who are respected in the army."

The opposition also demanded the formation of a high electoral commission tasked with holding a referendum on constitutional reforms, and parliamentary and presidential
elections.

Under the weight of over two months of protests, which Amnesty International said have cost 95 lives in clashes with security forces, Saleh had offered to step down before his
term runs out in 2013.

But he has hardened his stance since a massive pro-regime rally on March 25.

(Agencies)