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Algerian parliament to meet Tuesday to select interim president

AFP | Protesters in the Algerian captial, Algiers, April 5, 2019.

Algeria's parliament on Tuesday will elect a new interim president, state news agency APS said on Saturday, after veteran ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned following mass protests.

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"It was decided to hold a meeting of the two chambers of parliament on Tuesday... at 9.00am (0800 GMT)," the Algerian upper house of parliament said in a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

Bouteflika ended 20 years in power on Tuesday after a final nudge by the military, following six weeks of protests calling for democratic reforms after almost 60 years of monolithic rule by veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France.

Under the constitution, both chambers of the assembly need to formally confirm the vacancy of the presidency and the head of the upper house serves as a transitional president for a maximum of 90 days until elections.

The current upper house chairman, Abdelkader Bensalah, 77, stands to become interim president as of now.

But he, like Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and Tayeb Belaiz, head of a Constitutional Council who had formally received Bouteflika's resignation, are facing pressure from protesters to quit as they are seen as close to the establishment.

Demonstrators want a completely new political landscape and they see the three as part of an old guard that helped keep Bouteflika in power for 20 years.

In the weeks before Bouteflika's resignation, his inner circle was depleted by the resignation of several of his close allies from influential positions in politics and business.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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