Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Resigns Early Under Pressure


Abdelaziz Bouteflika seen in 2014. The now 82-year-old has rarely appeared in public after a stroke in 2013.
Nacerdine Zebar/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

(NPR) – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned Tuesday after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.

The move accelerated his promise earlier this week to resign before the end of his term on April 28. It followed a demand on Tuesday from the country’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, that Bouteflika be declared unfit for office immediately.

“This decision is triggered by my eagerness to prevent that the verbal excesses that unintentionally mark the situation turn into potentially dangerous drifts, and for the protection of persons and property which is the main prerogatives of the State,” he wrote in a letter released by state-owned Algeria Press Service.

Hundreds reportedly took to the streets of the capital Algiers in celebration, blaring car horns and waving flags.

Persistent protests began after the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced plans in February to seek a fifth term. He then reversed that decision but had delayed new elections.

Since suffering a stroke in 2013, Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public and has been represented by a portrait at public events.

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.