Algeria's parliament appoints Abdelkader Bensalah interim president, students protest

Reuters , Tuesday 9 Apr 2019

Abdelkader Bensalah
File Photo: FILE PHOTO: Algeria's Senate President Abdelkader Bensalah waits for the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron at Houari Boumediene airport in Algiers, Algeria December 6, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)

Algeria's parliament appointed on Tuesday its upper house chairman Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president following the resignation of ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of mass demonstrations against his rule.

His appointment is in keeping with Algeria's constitution but protesters, who want sweeping democratic reforms, oppose figures like Bensalah, a close associate of Bouteflika and his inner circle who dominated Algeria for decades.

Shortly after the announcement in parliament, hundreds of mostly students protested in central Algiers, some chanting "Bensalah go".

9 April
Algerian students carry banners as they take part in an anti-government demonstraion in the capital Algiers on April 9, 2019. (Photo AFP)

Bouteflika's exit last week came after six weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations.

Salah has expressed support for protesters, who want democratic reforms after almost 60 years of monolithic rule by veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France.

Upon stepping down, Bouteflika promised that elections would be held after 90 days as part of a transition he said would usher in a new era.

As per the Algerian constitution, Bensalah will remain interim president until new elections are held.

"We must work to allow the Algerian people elect their president as soon as possible," Bensalah told parliament.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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