Algeria parliament to meet on Tuesday to name interim president

The country’s constitution stipulates that the speaker of the upper house of parliament should take presidential reins.

Algeria’s parliament will meet Tuesday to name an interim successor to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, according to state media, a week after after widespread protests forced the ailing president to cede power.

“It was decided to hold a meeting of the two chambers of parliament on Tuesday … at 9:00 am (08:00 GMT),” the upper house of parliament said on Saturday in a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

Algeria’s constitution stipulates that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, currently 77-year-old Abdelkader Bensalah, should take the presidential reins.

He is to serve for up to 90 days, during which a presidential election must be organised.

The lawmakers are expected to finalise the “vacancy of the post of president … and then designate Abdelkader Bensalah as head of state”, Salim Rabahi, communications head for the upper house of parliament, said.

Faced with weeks-long demonstrations, and having lost the support of the army, Bouteflika resigned on April 2 after two decades in power.

The 82-year-old had come under mounting pressure to step down over his decision to seek a fifth term despite rarely being seen in public after suffering a stroke in 2013.

Algerians once again rallied on Friday ay in a continued push for sweeping reform, calling out key Boutleflika allies who have been entrusted with overseeing the political transition.

The are targeting a triumvirate they dub “3B” – Bensalah, head of the constitution council Tayeb Belaiz, and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

Critics say all three have always been faithful Bouteflika servants, who should follow his lead and resign.

Protesters are calling for transitional institutions to be set up to implement reforms and guarantee free elections.

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