2022 RT Banner.gif

China Daily

News> World> Content
Tuesday, April 09, 2019, 20:10
Algeria parliament names interim leader after protests
By Reuters
Tuesday, April 09, 2019, 20:10 By Reuters

In this March 31, 2019 file photo, Algeria's Abdelkader Bensalah attends the opening session of the 30th Arab Summit in Tunis, Tunisia. (FETHI BELAID / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

ALGIERS - 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. 

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

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

The big question is how Algeria's powerful military - long seen as a kingmaker in Algerian politics -- will react to Bensalah's appointment and any opposition that arises. 

READ MORE: Algeria tensions: Governing party chief backs protesters

Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gaid Salah carefully managed Bouteflika's exit, which 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. 

ALSO READ: Algeria's president abandons bid for 5th term amid protests

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. 

Share this story

Please click in the upper right corner to open it in your browser !