“I reject power and I will continue to reject it, and I will be leaving power in the coming days,” Reuters quoted Saleh as saying in a speech on state TV.
“But there are men who are true to their pledges who will take power, whether military or civilian,” Saleh added without hinting who he was referring to.
The Saturday announcement marks the first occasion that Saleh has willingly said he will step down since near-daily anti-regime demonstrations, in which hundreds have been killed and thousands more injured, began in the country in January.
The 69-year-old has, however, repeatedly refused to sign a power transfer deal brokered by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, according to which he would hand over power in return for immunity from prosecution.
Moreover, the announcement came one day after Tawakul Karman, a Yemeni activist and journalist became the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
“I dedicate my prize to all freedom seekers. I dedicate it to all Yemenis who preferred to make their revolution peaceful by facing the snipers with flowers. It is for the Yemeni women, for the peaceful protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, and all the Arab world,” Karman said as she vowed to continue with her campaign until Saleh steps down.