Yemeni opposition groups are planning to march to the palace of the embattled president on Friday to demand his immediate ouster in defiance of the 30-day state of emergency passed by the parliament to quell unceasing rebellion in the poverty-stricken nation.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh's offer to quit by the year-end has already been rejected by opposition parties as inadequate. Saleh has also endured wave after wave of defections from his ruling party, leaving him increasingly isolated. The president has already sacked his cabinet.
Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered at the campus of Sanaa University, the epicenter of anti-Saleh disturbances, to voice their loud displeasure with the emergency laws. Last week, state security forces killed more than three dozen protesters in the area.
Friday will be the 'Friday of the March Forward', with hundreds of thousands of people... We will arrive where you are and we will remove you, opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Al Jazeera.
On Wednesday, protesters carried posters saying No to emergency rule, you butcher!, while some sold T-shirts with the phrase I am a future martyr emblazoned on them, according to Al Jazeera.
As sure as the sun is in the sky, he will go, Suleiman Abdullah, a protester, told Reuters.
But Saleh faces even more problems beyond the people who want him out of office.
Tribal leaders in Yemen’s south want to secede from the North; while the presence of Al Qaeda operatives in the hinterlands raises other fears.
Saleh, which has been a strong ally of the US and other western powers, has warned that Yemen will fall into disorder and civil war if he is not around to hold the fractious country together.
They call for the regime going and that means chaos and destruction. Yes, the regime could go, but via democratic means and that involves the ballot box and elections. Coups are rejected, Saleh told a meeting of tribal heads.
Moreover, General Ali Mohsen, commander of the northwest military zone and Saleh's kinsman from the powerful al-Ahmar clan, has joined the opposition. Mohsen is widely regarded as the second most powerful man in Yemen.
But he is a controversial figure to the opposition.
While some anti-government demonstrators have held pictures of him during rallies, other opposition members do not trust him or his motives for joining their movement – he was after all a long-time colleague of the man they are trying to remove from power.
We see Ali Mohsen's joining us as a corruption of the revolution. The revolution is not against an individual but against a system, said Abdullah Hussein al-Dailami, a protester told Al Jazeera.