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Algeria President Bouteflika Sets To Resign


Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is preparing to announce his resignation in days, in accordance with article 102 of the constitution, Ennahar TV said on Sunday.
Under the article, a constitutional council can declare Bouteflika unfit for office or he can resign himself.

Bouteflika, who has faced more than a month of mass protests, might announce his resignation on Tuesday, the private station said, citing political sources.
On Sunday, the government named a 27-man caretaker cabinet headed by serving Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

Central bank governor Mohamed Loukal was named as finance minister, while the former head of the state power and gas utility, Mohamed Arkab, will be energy minister, APS said.

Sabri Boukadoum, a former envoy to the United Nations, becomes foreign minister and replaces Ramtane Lamamra, who spent less than a month in the role.

Seeking to defuse the demonstrations, Bouteflika had said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term. But he stopped short of stepping down immediately, to wait for a national conference on political change. That further enraged protesters.

Algeria’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, renewed a call on Saturday for the Constitutional Council to rule on whether the ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika was fit to rule, opening up the possibility of a managed exit.
Salah kept his position as deputy defense minister in the reshuffle, according to state media. Bouteflika, who has rarely appeared in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, kept his title as defense minister.

Bouteflika also named the communication minister, Hassane Rabhi, as government spokesman, a rarely-filled post in what critics say has been a secretive administration.
Demonstrators have rejected military intervention in civilian matters and want to dismantle the entire ruling elite, which includes veterans from the war of independence against France, army officers, the ruling party and business tycoons.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Algiers for more than a month, complaining of corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement which they say has charecterised Bouteflika’s 20-year rule.


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