Algeria’s Bouteflika resigns: state news agency

Following weeks of massive protests, Algeria’s president has resigned, according to state news agency APS.

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned after weeks of protests against his 20-year rule, according to state media.

The 82-year-old leader stood down on Tuesday, according to the APS news agency,after Algeria’s army chief of staff demanded immediate procedures to remove Bouteflika from office.

Ahmed Gaid Salah said constitutional means to declare the president unfit to rule should be applied and called for “the immediate application of the constitutional procedure for removing the head of state from power,” according to APS.

On Monday, Bouteflika, who is in poor health, said he would quit before the end of his term on April 28.

But a protest leader and opposition parties rejected this as insufficient, while hundreds of students marched through the capital Algiers on Tuesday to demand the replacement of a political system widely seen as incapable of significant reform.

Translation: “President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, officially notified the president of the constitutional council his decision to end his mandate as president of the Republic.”

Massive protests broke out in Algeria in February when Bouteflika announced that he would run for a fifth term in office.

He initially sought to defuse the unrest by announcing on March 11 he was dropping plans to run in the elections, which were also delayed, but the protests continued to gain traction as demonstrators called for the president and his close associates to quit.

Calvin Dark, international affairs analyst, said Bouteflika’s resignation underscored that it is the military that holds power in Algeria.

“As you watched the protests over the last five, six weeks, everybody was asking, ‘Where does the military stand?'” Dark told Al Jazeera.

“In a practical way, nothing was going to move, until [the military] made a move. When that support for Bouteflika started to deteriorate among the military elites, that is what put things in motion.

“It will be interesting if protesters can articulate exactly what that change will look like.”

As reported from ALJAZEERS

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