August 21, 2019

Algerian Leader Bouteflika Resigns Under Pressure From Army

Algerian Leader Bouteflika Resigns Under Pressure From Army

PARIS — The long-ruling president of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, resigned Tuesday night after the army signaled that he had to go following weeks of mass protests against him.

The state news agency said the ailing Mr. Bouteflika, who hasn’t spoken to his countrymen in seven years, had submitted his resignation. It followed quickly on a statement from the chief of staff of Algeria’s army, the traditional arbiter of political life in the country, calling for an “immediate” declaration from the constitutional council that Mr. Bouteflika, paralyzed and in a wheelchair, be deemed unfit for office.

Mr. Bouteflika was president of his country for 20 years and had sought to prolong his rule, pushed by family members and others in Algeria’s ruling elite who sought “the preservation of their narrow personal interests,” the army chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, said Tuesday night.

That declaration was enough to push Mr. Bouteflika out.

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