Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Forced to Resign after 2 Decades
After being in power for 20 years, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has finally resigned following weeks of mass protests.
As stated by the media, “The President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has officially notified the president of the constitutional council of his decision to end his mandate as President of the Republic”.
The official announcement was made by the leader himself on Tuesday night. As per the Algerian constitutional laws, it is the duty of the Senate speaker to take over as an interim head of the state until fresh elections are held.
Soon after Bouteflika announced a fifth run for re-election on February 10, after being in continuous governance for two decades, Algerians took to the streets to protest against him. The demonstrations heightened when the President’s allies called him to step down. There were incidents, wherein the police had to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
The main reason for wanting Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit was that he had been governing for the last 20 years, and at present is 82 years old. His reign had become a symbol of ageing regimes across the Middle East and North African countries. He even suffered a stroke in 2013, and had not given any public speech since then.
The President’s idea to cancel the elections, saying he would leave after he has rewritten the constitution was widely rejected by the protestors – as they believed that two decades were enough to bring significant changes. They claimed that in Bouteflika’s rule, Algeria’s economy failed completely, despite the fact that the country is rich in oil and gas. They accused Bouteflika and his companions to have stolen the country’s wealth for their own benefits.
Moreover, Ahmed Gaid Salah, head of Algeria’s powerful military, called for Bouteflika’s immediate departure and said, “There is no more room to waste time … We decided clearly … to stand with the people so all their demands get fulfilled”. He even said that the statement which said that Bouteflika would step down before his mandate officially ended on April 28, issued by Bouteflika’s office on Monday was written by “unconstitutional and unauthorized parties.”
The announcement of Bouteflika’s resignation on Tuesday led to celebration on the streets of the capital. Abdelkader Bensalah is currently serving as the president of Algeria until new elections are held.
It seems that though some of the protestors in Algeria are temporarily satisfied with their victory of Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s departure, yet the majority is aiming for a permanent change in the system of the governance.
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