Bouteflika to resign before mandate ends April 2018


Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his mandate ends on April 28, state news agency APS said on Monday, bowing to weeks of mass protests and army pressure seeking an end to his 20-year rule.


There was no immediate reaction from leaders of the protest movement that has buffeted Algeria, a major oil producer, since Feb. 22. Many protesters want a new generation of leaders to replace an elderly, secretive ruling elite seen by many as out of touch and unable to jump-start a faltering economy hampered by cronyism.


In a sign that protesters might demand more changes, most opposition parties rejected a new caretaker cabinet appointed by Bouteflika late on Sunday, saying the prime minister was too close to ruling circles.


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 his departure or give more details immediately.—BBC


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