Algeria’s Bouteflika Backtracks, Announces He Will Not Seek Fifth Term
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced on Monday night that he would not seek a fifth term in office. He also announced a delay in elections, which had been scheduled for April, and efforts to forge a new constitution to be ratified in a public referendum. After he declared his candidacy in late February, mass protests drew millions to the streets. Bouteflika has largely been out of sight since suffering a debilitating stroke in 2013, and many in the country felt it was time for him to relinquish the presidency. In power since 1999, the 82-year-old uses a wheelchair and has difficulty speaking. According to the Algeria Press Service, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia resigned and was replaced by Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui, and the position of deputy prime minister was created and filled by Ramtane Lamamra. Bedoui will be tasked with forming a new government.