By Andrew Irumba
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in a message to the head of the country’s Constitutional Council on Tuesday that he had taken all measures to ensure continuity of power after his resignation.
Bouteflika, 82, submitted his resignation earlier in the day on Tuesday amid a deep political crisis in the country.
“Within my constitutional powers, I have taken all measures to ensure continuity in the country for the normal functioning of its institutions during the transition period, which should lead to the election of a new president of the republic,” Bouteflica said in the message circulated by the state-run APS news agency.
Algeria has been experiencing a wave of anti-government protests, triggered by Bouteflika’s plans to seek a fifth term in the office, since late February.
On March 11, Bouteflika withdrew his bid for re-election and postponed the vote, initially scheduled for April 18. However, protests have continued, with people demanding immediate changes.
Algeria’s army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Ahmed Qaid Saleh urged the country’s leadership earlier on Tuesday to avoid delaying the adoption of decisions aimed at resolving the political crisis.
Bouteflika has ruled Algeria for 20 years.