Algerian President Bouteflika to resign before mandate ends on April 28

AFP , Ahram Online , Reuters , Monday 1 Apr 2019

Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Photo: Reuters)

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his mandate expires on April 28, his office said Monday in a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

The president will take "steps to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period," said the statement, adding his "resignation would occur before April 28, 2019".

APS said Bouteflika, who is 82 and in poor health, would take important decisions to ensure "continuity of the state's institutions" before stepping down. It did not spell out a date for Bouteflika's departure.

Under the constitution of the North African state, Abdelkader Bensalah, chairman of the upper house of parliament, would take over as caretaker president for 90 days until elections are held.

Boutefleika's decision comes one day after he announced a new caretaker cabinet amid weeks-long mass protests, as well as recent pressure from the country's army chief of staff , to resign and end his 20-year rule.

Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans to run for a fifth term.

But he had stopped short of leaving immediately in favour of waiting for a national conference on reforms to address discontent over corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and the prolonged grip on power of elderly veterans of the 1954-62 war of independence against France.

Last week, Algeria's Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaeid Salah, who was appointed by Boutefleika in 2004, stepped  by proposing last week to implement a provision of Algeria's constitution that calls for a constitutional council to determine whether Bouteflika was still fit to govern or allow him to resign.

Algeria's presidency had announced on Sunday the appointment of a new caretaker cabinet with Noureddine Bedoui remaining as prime minister.

President Abdelaziz Boutefleika would have maintained the position of the minister of defence in a new cabinet.

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