Protests in Algeria force resignation of lower parliament speaker

Protesters continue to demand the resignation of government officials loyal to former leader, Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Protests in Algeria force resignation of lower parliament speaker

The speaker of Algeria’s lower house of parliament resigned Tuesday, an official told reporters, following calls for him to quit by demonstrators.

“Mouad Bouchareb resigned this morning from his post as speaker of the lower chamber,” said Abdelhamid Si Affif, president of parliament’s foreign affairs commission.

Related: Algeria protests keep up pressure on post-Bouteflika regime

Bouchareb, the former head of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) parliamentary group, was elected to the post in October 2018.

No reason was given for his decision to quit, which led to the cancellation of Tuesday’s planned closing session of the lower house.

Despite his relatively low-profile role, Bouchareb had drawn the ire of protesters rallying against the country’s ruling elite.

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Mass rallies against veteran president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika began in February and forced the ailing leader to quit in early April.

But demonstrators have kept up their protests ever since, pushing for key backers of Bouteflika during his 20-year rule to step down.

Related: Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns

Plans to elect Bouteflika’s successor on July 4 were scrapped after the only two candidates were rejected.

Interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, former speaker of the upper house, is constitutionally due to stay in his post only until July 9.

With no clear solution to the political crisis, demonstrators took the streets again Friday demanding the establishment of independent institutions.

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Protesters are calling for transitional bodies to be set up, sweeping aside Bouteflika loyalists such as army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah who had backed the July polls.

Related: Presidential elections cannot hold July 4, Algeria’s constitutional council says

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