President to resign following protests
CAIRO – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign by the end of April, his office announced in a statement Monday carried by the country’s state media, following weeks of massive street protests calling for the end of his two decades in power.
The president, the statement said, would resign before April 28 and would take measures “to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period.”
If Bouteflika carries out his promise, he would become the fifth Arab leader to be pushed out of office by populist pressure since the 2011 Arab Spring revolts, following the path of autocrats in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. He is Algeria’s longest-serving head of state.
Monday came a week after Algeria’s powerful army chief, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, publicly urged that Bouteflika be declared unfit for office and called for his removal. Salah is considered one of the most influential power brokers in the country. In deciding to part ways with Bouteflika, Salah was the latest in a wave of allies who have abandoned him.
– Washington Post