Algeria’s parliament confirms Bensalah as interim president

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People march during a protest to push for the removal of the current political structure, in Algiers, Algeria April 5, 2019. The banner reads: "The Algerian people... masters of their own decisions". REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
People march during a protest to push for the removal of the current political structure, in Algiers, Algeria April 5, 2019. The banner reads: “The Algerian people… masters of their own decisions”. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudin

Algeria’s parliament appointed on Tuesday the upper house chairman Abdelkader Bensalah as interim president for the next 90 days following the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a Reuters witness said.

Bensalah will run the country until new elections are held, in accordance with the North African country’s constitution.

This comes following the resignation of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned last week in the face of mass protests after 20 years in power.

Protests have continued following Bouteflika’s resignation, with 20 Algerian civil society groups said they would refuse a transition of power that maintained the same political structures in place, calling for protests on Friday for “democratic change”.

“Bouteflika’s resignation … is a first victory … but it is not enough,” they said in a joint statement.

On Friday, in the first weekly protest since Bouteflika’s departure, Algerians took to the streets to demand regime stalwarts be excluded from the political transition.

Protesters have voiced their rejection of three men associated with the current political system: Bensalah, head of the constitutional council Tayeb Belaiz and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

Many have reportedly taken to the streets to express opposition to Bensalah’s appointment.

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