Algeria: Bouteflika resigns, parliament appoints interim president

Algeria’s Senate leader Abdelkader Bensalah has been appointed interim president following a decision by the National People's Congress on April 9 to declare the presidential post vacant.

Bouteflika, in power for 20 years, resigned on April 2 after months of protests.

The decision to appoint Bensalah as interim president was supported by the majority National Liberation Front (FLN), which has governed the country since 1962, and its ally, the National Democratic Regroupment (RND).

MPs from the Socialist Forces Front (FFS) and the Workers' Party (PT) resigned just before the parliamentary meeting. The Movement for the Society for Peace (MSP), Algerian Front for Development, Freedom, and Justice (FADLJ) also boycotted the meeting.

Throughout his career, Bensalah has held several government positions. In 1970, he was Director of the Algerian Center for Information and Culture in Beirut (Lebanon), a position he held for four years before directing the Arabic-language newspaper El Chaab until 1977.

He was appointed Ambassador of Algeria to Saudi Arabia and to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 1989.

In 1997, Bensalah was appointed President of the National People's Assembly, a position he held until 2002.

Bensalah must call for new presidential elections within three months.

“We must work to allow the Algerian people to elect their president as soon as possible,” Bensalah told the parliament.

Protests are still continuing following Besalah’s appointment, due to his closeness to Bouteflika and the government.

[Abridged from Telesur English.]