Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika steps down after 20 years in power

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Ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down from his post on Tuesday before his mandate ended on April 28, the state media reported.

The report was confirmed according to a short statement published on Tuesday by the state-run Algeria Press Agency-“President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has officially notified president of the Constitutional Council of his decision to end his term as President of the Republic”.

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The president will take steps to ensure “state institutions continue to function during the transition period”, according to a statement issued by Bouteflika’s office, adding, his “resignation would occur before April 28, 2019”, Al-Jazeera had reported earlier.

There have been repeated calls for the 82-year-old to resign after almost 20 years in office.

This comes a day after Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah reiterated his call for the application of a provision in the Algerian Constitution that could remove the president on account of his failing health.

“We must adopt a solution that helps us out of this crisis. A solution that respects and adheres to the Constitution so that it’s a suitable one for all sides,” Al Jazeera quoted Salah as saying who is also the Deputy Defence Minister of Algeria.

Algeria has been witnessing protests since February against the President following his announcement that he will be contesting for a fifth term.

Bouteflika later gave in to protesters demands and abandoned his re-election bid but also delayed the presidential election indefinitely and said that he will only step down after a new Constitution is passed.

Bouteflika has rarely made public appearances since suffering a stroke in 2013.

Under Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution, the Constitutional Council could ask Parliament to declare a President to be unfit to rule the country if he or she is unable to fully exercise his functions due to ill-health.

(With ANI inputs)

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