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Algeria’s longest serving president resigns

Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has resigned with immediate effect after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.

The 82-year-old announced his resignation in a letter to the president of the Constitutional Council on Tuesday.

In his letter, Bouteflika wrote, “my intention is to contribute to calming down the souls and minds of the citizens so they can collectively take Algeria to the better future they aspire to.” His resignation triggered a 90-day caretaker presidency by the chairman of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, until elections are held.

Algerians took to the streets of Algiers, the capital, to celebrate Bouteflika’s departure.

Mass demonstrations have taken place since February 22 after Bouteflika announced that a plan to seek a fifth term in upcoming elections. He later reversed his decision to and said that he would step down once a new constitution had been passed.

Bouteflika also began to face pressure from within his own regime. Last week, Ahmed Gaid Salah, the head of Algeria’s military, called for Bouteflika to step down.

Despite Bouteflika’s departure, protestors vow to continue their uprising.

Read more here and here

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