Algerian President Names New Government, Keeps Army Chief

Algerian President Names New Government, Keeps Army Chief

Algerian President Names New Government, Keeps Army Chief

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika might resign this week, the private Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said on Sunday, after mass protests and pressure from the army demanding he end his 20-year rule.

Last week, Algeria's influential Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is a member of Bouteflika's inner that which de-facto governed the country in past years, urged to enact Article 102 of the country's constitution.

Bouteflika removed himself from presidential candidacy three weeks ago, citing his advancing age and infirmity upon his return from seeking medical care in Geneva.

Central Bank Governor Mohamed Loukal will replace Finance Minister Abderrahmane Rouia.

In power for two decades, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke six years ago.

He originally declared his candidacy for a fifth term, then withdrew and postponed the election in response to the massive protests.

The cabinet is composed of 27 ministers; 21 did not hold ministerial posts in the previous government.

Meanwhile, a rally to protest against the recently appointed government, led by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, gathered at the Maurice Audin square in the country's capital Algiers on Sunday night, the TSA news portal reported.

But his attempt to break the political impasse has failed to placate demonstrators, who reject military intervention in civilian matters and want to dismantle the entire ruling elite, which includes veterans of the war of independence against France, army officers, the ruling party and business tycoons. Yet this weekend Bouteflika is still "ruling".

"We must adopt a solution that helps us out of this crisis ... a solution that respects and adheres to the constitution so that it's a suitable one for all sides", Salah, who is also the deputy defence minister, said in a televised address on Tuesday.

Addressing an Arab League summit in Tunis, Mr Guterres insisted that any steps should be made in a way "that addresses the concerns of the Algerian people in a timely way".

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