Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his mandate expires on 28 April. A statement issued by the President’s office said the president will take steps to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period. Millions of Algerians have been holding weekly protests nationwide calling for the 82-year-old Bouteflika to step down after almost 20 years in office.
He has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013. Bouteflika had initially declared his candidacy for a fifth term, but on March 11 withdrew and postponed the election – originally slated for April 18 – in response to the massive protests. Last week, the country’s powerful army chief proposed launching a constitutional procedure to have Bouteflika declared unfit for office.