Algerian students take to the streets in the capital Algiers to reject the presidential elections and protest against the government, in Algiers, Algeria, Dec 17, 2019. Algeria's Constitutional Council has confirmed Abdelkader Tebboune as the new president of Africa's largest country for the next five years — despite mass protests challenging his election. (TOUFIK DOUDOU / AP)
ALGIERS — After eight months without a leader, Algeria is inaugurating its new president Thursday — a ceremony that pro-democracy protesters are rejecting as a charade.
The governing elite hopes Abdelkader Tebboune's inauguration allows their gas-rich country to turn the page on 10 months of protests that have thrown their legitimacy into doubt and stalled the economy
The governing elite hopes Abdelkader Tebboune's inauguration allows their gas-rich country to turn the page on 10 months of protests that have thrown their legitimacy into doubt and stalled the economy.
ALSO READ: Algeria holds presidential vote boycotted by demonstrators
Tebboune, a 74-year-old former prime minister considered close to Algeria's powerful army chief, was elected last week with 58 percent of the vote in an election boycotted by members of the country's peaceful protest movement.
He has promised to reach out to the protesters and to fight corruption, a major problem in Africa's biggest country. Tebboune inherits a large youth population disillusioned with unemployment and out-of-touch rulers, and myriad economic challenges.
The protesters helped push out Tebboune's predecessor, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in April after 20 years in power, and now they want a whole new power structure. They rejected the election because it was organized by Algeria's secretive political elite.
READ MORE: Algeria's interim leader pledges to hold 'honest' election
Algeria remains a key ally of Western powers fighting terrorism in the region, and foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Thursday's inauguration in the presidential palace of the capital, Algiers.
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