Algerian President, Bouteflika, resigns

Veteran Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to seek a fifth term set off demonstrations against his 20-year rule.
He is billed to resign before his mandate expires on April 28, his office said Monday, after a succession of loyalists deserted him in the face of massive protests.
The 82-year-old, who has rarely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke, has been clinging to power as pressure mounted for weeks over attempts to prolong his 20-year rule.
Bouteflika will resign “before April 28, 2019”, after “important decisions” are taken, the presidency said in a statement, without specifying when these moves would occur.
He would take “steps to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period”, the statement carried by the official APS news agency said.
Algeria has been rocked by huge protests since the veteran president announced in February that he was seeking a fifth term in office.
Bouteflika said last month he would pull out of the race and postponed April elections, in moves that angered demonstrators who saw it as a ploy to extend his two decades in power.
As the anger failed to subside, a number of high-profile loyalists have deserted the president.
On Tuesday armed forces chief of staff General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who was appointed by Bouteflika in 2004, said the president should either resign or be declared medically unfit to govern by parliament using its constitutional powers.
Under the constitution, once his resignation is tendered, the speaker of Algeria’s upper house of parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, would act as interim leader for up to 90 days during which a presidential election must be organised.
Born on March 2, 1937, in Oujda, French Protectorate in Morocco, he was the first child of his mother, Mansouria Ghezlaoui, and the second child of his father, Ahmed Bouteflika.
Fatima, his half-sister, preceded him. His parents originated from Tlemcen, Algeria. He has three half-sisters (Fatima, Yamina, and Aïcha), as well as four brothers (Abdelghani, Mustapha, Abderahim and Saïd) and one sister (Latifa).
He got his early education in Oujda High School before joining the National Liberation Army. He got rapid promotions.
In 1960, he was assigned with leading the Malian Front in the Algerian South where he became known with his revolutionary name of Abdelkader al-Mali.
The Algerian politician is fifth President of Algeria since 1999. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 1979. As President, he presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002, and he ended emergency rule in February 2011 amidst regional unrest.
In November 2012, he surpassed Houari Boumédiène as the longest-serving Head of State of Algeria.

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