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President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013 [File: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters]
Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his fourth term expires on April 28, his office has said 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 issued on Monday, adding, his “resignation would occur before April 28, 2019”.
Millions of Algerians have been holding weekly protests nationwide calling for the 82-year-old to step down after almost 20 years in office. He has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013.
He had originally declared his candidacy for a fifth term, but on March 11 withdrew and postponed the election – originally slated for April 18 – in response to the massive protests.
The Constitutional Council has been meeting to consider whether he can be removed from office because he is unfit to assume his duties.
Under article 102 of the constitution, the council can determine that a sitting president is no longer fit to assume his duties and, pending parliamentary approval, proceed to declare the presidency vacant.
The Algerian constitution calls for the head of the upper house of parliament to act act as interim leader for a maximum of 90 days while an election is organised.
Algerian national television announced on Sunday night that Bouteflika and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui had named a new government after weeks of mass protests and political tensions in this gas-rich North African country.
The new government must stay in place during the transition period.Source: Al Jazeera