Friday, February 25, 2011

Yemen the early favorite to fall next

Protest In Yemen

Bookmakers are offering odds on the next country to force their leader to step down, with Yemen installed as the early favorite.

Following the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, Yemen has been installed as 15/8 favorite.

Anti-regime protesters and supports of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, clashed in Sanaa on Wednesday, with at least four people wounded, according to reports.

A protest march set off from the university heading towards Al-Sabiine square near the presidential palace, but the demonstrators were attacked by hundreds of Saleh's loyalists armed with batons, stones and daggers as soon as they left the campus.

Following the outbreak of protests across the region, Mr. Saleh promised not to seek re-election in 2013, but it has not stopped unrest in the country.

The bookmaker installed Jordan as 9/4 second favorite to fall with Algeria at 7/2.

Bahrain meanwhile, which is facing Egypt-style unrest, could be a good bet, with generous odds of 8/1.

Limited political reforms announced by the countries have done little to stop the angry protests.

Jordan's King Abdullah was forced to swear in a new cabinet last week, days after sacking Prime Minister Samir Rifai after weeks of protests against rising prices and widespread unemployment. Tribal leaders in the country have also called on the king to end his wife's role in politics.

Last week, Alegria shut down internet providers and deleted Facebook accounts as thousands of demonstrators were arrested in violent street demonstrations.

The more oppressive regimes of Saudi Arabia and Syria have been given longer odds of 20/1, although both countries have seen protests.

Odds – next country to topple leader:

15/8 Yemen

9/4 Jordan

7/2 Algeria

7/2 Morocco

8/1 Bahrain

12/1 Iran

16/1 Libya

16/1 Sudan

16/1 Iraq

20/1 Saudi Arabia

20/1 Syria

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