Algeria: Bouteflika to step down by April 28
Algerian State Media has stated that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will step down from the current position before his term expires on April 28, 2019. The President has stated that it will be ensured that all the state-run institutions continue to have a smooth functioning in the transition period.
The announcement has come after weeks of protests launched by many Algerians across the nation calling at President to step down after having to be in power for 20 years. Bouteflika who had suffered a stroke in 2013 has rarely made any public appearance ever since. Initially, the President declared his candidacy for the fifth term but in response to the massive protests which had followed, he withdrew his candidacy on March 11 and also postponed the elections which were to take place on April 18.
Many Algerians students had taken to social media to call for another round of huge protests on Tuesday, despite the resignation by the President. People are of the view that his departure from active politics is not enough as it will not change the ground realities in Algeria. The country will still be ruled by the same political regime which has been ruling Algeria ever since it got its independence in 1962. People are not only demanding the resignation of the President but also want a change in the whole political system. His resignation is being viewed as only a tip of the iceberg as the whole show is being directed by the ruling elite who are nothing but misguiding the people. People thus want the old guard to leave the ruling corridors of the country. People are of the view that has to be together in this hour of a peaceful demonstration against the regime.
The recent move by the President has come at a time when the army chief of Algeria has launched a constitutional process for declaring the President unfit for office. The proposal had sparked tensions between the inner circle of the President and the armed forces. There has been a meeting of the Constitutional Council to consider if the President can actually be removed from his office as he has become unfit to handle his duties. This has been done under the provisions of Article 102, wherein the Council can take such a decision and course which has to be approved by the Parliament. The move declares the Presidency as vacant.