Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on Tuesday, succumbing to a groundswell of public pressure after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.
The ailing, 82-year-old leader announced he was standing down in a statement carried by state news agency APS, shortly after the army chief of staff demanded immediate action to remove him from office.
On Monday Bouteflika, in poor health and rarely seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013, had said he would quit before the end of his term on April 28.
But chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah said that statement had been issued by “unconstitutional and unauthorized parties”, APS said.
“There is no more room to waste time… We decided clearly…to stand with the people so all their demands get fulfilled,” Salah said after a meeting with senior officers.
Pressure had been building during the day with opposition groups demanding Bouteflika go immediately, while hundreds of students marched through the capital Algiers to demand to replacement of a political system widely seen as incapable of significant reform. (Reuters)