The head of Algeria’s constitutional council resigned Tuesday after weeks facing the ire of protesters, state television reported.
Tayeb Belaiz informed the council, which will play a key role in upcoming presidential elections, that “he presented his resignation…to the head of state”.
Algerians have called for Belaiz and other top figures to quit in mass demonstrations which prompted the departure of veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika earlier this month.
Protesters have targeted the “3B” – Belaiz, Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, and Abdelkader Bensalah who served as upper house speaker until being appointed interim president after Bouteflika’s resignation.
Bensalah has defended his appointment under constitutional rules and has pledged a transparent vote, to be held
The constitutional council is tasked with vetting election candidates, as well as ensuring the regularity of the polls.
Belaiz has served as a minister almost without interruption for 16 years and was appointed head of the constitutional council for the second time on February 10.
Later that month Algerians took to the streets to rally against Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term in polls initially schedule for April.
Students back on the streets despite police deployment
Meanwhile, thousands of Algerian students chanting “peaceful” rallied Tuesday in the capital as they defiantly faced police officers who barred them from reaching the focal point of weeks of protests.
During the demonstration, Mira Laifa, a medical student said:
“We will continue to march until a transitional (authority) led by clean politicians is set up,”
“We will continue what we have started,” added fellow university student Linda.
Police were massively deployed around Algiers’ iconic post office building, preventing the protesters from reaching what has become the emblematic point of rallies since anti-government demonstrations first erupted in February.