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Algerian President Bouteflika steps down

Wednesday 03 April 2019 11:26 AM

Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria’s 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his resignation on Tuesday, the Algeria Press Service (APS) reported.

"President Abdelaziz Bouteflika officially notified the president of the Constitutional Council about his decision to end his duties of the head of state," the agency quoted as saying a communique by the presidential administration.

In a letter to the president of the Constitutional Council, released by the TSA news portal, Bouteflika says he decided to resign in order to appease protesters.

"I have the honour to formally notify you of my decision to terminate my term as President of the Republic, as from today, Tuesday, Radjab 1440, corresponding to 02 April 2019," the letter reads. "This decision that I take in my good conscience is intended to contribute to easing the hearts and minds of my compatriots and to enable them to plan together for a better future for Algeria, which they legitimately aspire to."

"This decision is triggered by my eagerness to prevent the verbal excesses that unintentionally mark the situation turn into potentially dangerous drifts, and for the protection of persons and property which is the main prerogative of the State," the ex-president added.

Earlier on Tuesday, after a meeting of the country’s top brass, influential Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah announced the immediate launch of a procedure to relieve the president, whose health has seriously deteriorated since a stroke in 2013, of his duties. According to the official, the country’s armed forces resolved to immediately enact Article 102 of the country’s constitution, which stipulates the procedure of removing the president from office due to his "serious and long illness."