Protests force Algeria leader from reelection bid

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:13s

Protests force Algeria leader from reelection bid

Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced on Monday that he had reversed his decision to seek a fifth term, bowing to weeks of mass demonstrations against his rule.

Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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Protests force Algeria leader from reelection bid

After weeks of protests Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announched he will not run for a fifth term.

But he's also delaying the April election for an indeterminate amount of time.

For now, there are reports of jubilation from the thousands of people demonstrating against his initial bid to run again.

He's 82 years old and ruled for 20 years, but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

The protesters reject him and the entire establishment dominated by veterans of the war of independence against France that ended in 1962.

His opponents say they don't believe he's in a fit state to run the country, suspecting he was being kept in place to protect the grip of the military and business elite.

The government also promised a new constitution will be submitted to the public for a referendum and the country's Prime Minister has also resigned, with a cabinet reshuffle slated in due course.

Bouteflika has faced significant criticism from former allies throughout the protests.

More than 1,000 court judges said on Monday they would refuse to oversee the election if he stood.

And religious clerics said they would not accept government orders about what to preach.

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