YEMEN’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has declared an amnesty for all those who “committed errors during the crisis”, BBC reports quoting Yemen state media.
Opposition leaders said Mr Saleh had no authority to issue a pardon because he signed a deal last week transferring his powers to the vice-president.
On Saturday Vice-President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi announced elections would be brought forward to 21 February.
Hundreds of people have died this year in protests against Mr Saleh’s rule.
“The president of the republic has decreed a general amnesty for all those who have committed errors during the crisis,” Yemeni state TV reported.
The amnesty did not extend to those involved in an assassination attempt against him in June in which he was badly wounded.
Opposition spokeswoman Hurriya Mashhud rejected the amnesty declaration, saying it went against the Gulf Co-operation Council-brokered agreement Mr Saleh signed last week.
“He no longer has the right, nor the prerogative or the capacity to take such decisions,” she told AFP news agency.
‘Attacks should stop’
After months of delay, Mr Saleh signed the accord, transferring power to Vice-President Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.
Early elections, within 90 days instead of being held in 2013, were also part of the deal.
Mr Hadi is expected to form a national unity government ahead of the polls.
Mr Saleh has ruled Yemen for 33 years.
In an address to his party on Sunday, Mr Saleh urged attacks and anti-government protests to stop.
“Attacks on military bases, roads and transmission towers should stop. Protests should also stop in order to restore peace,” he said.
His security forces cracked down violently on protests against his rule which began in January.
In addition, Yemen faces Shia rebels in the north, separatists in the south and an active branch of the international al-Qaeda network – al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.