MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. /TASS/. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced postponement of next presidential elections and refused to run for another term, Algerie Presse Service (APS) reported on Monday.
“There will be no fifth mandate, and this issue was never even on the table for me,” Bouteflika said. “My health and my age are not conducive to fulfilling my responsibilities to the Algerian people who contribute to building the new republic,” he added. “This new republic will be in the hands of new generations of Algerians, who will naturally become the main actors and participants in the social life and sustainable development of future Algeria,” he noted.
On February, Bouteflika’s ruling coalition announced plans to run for another term, which sparked mass protests across the country. “There will be no elections on April 18. This decision was made to satisfy the demans of the people,” Bouteflika said.
He also announced upcoming govenrment reshuffle and a national conference, after which the date for the next presidential elections will be determined. “With the aim of mobilizing the authorities and boosting the effectiveness of the state in all spheres, I decided to make serious reshuffle in the government in the nearest future,” Bouteflika said. “These changes will represent an adequate response to the demands that have been put forward, and serve as proof that I am ready to accept responsibility for accountability at all levels and in all sectors,” he added.
Later reports said that Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced his resignation, which Bouteflika accepted. Noureddine Bedui, who served as the Minister of the Interior, was appointed as new prime minister.
The Algerian president said the new draft constitution will be developed and submitted for a national referendum. “The new constitution will be developed at the national conference and then submitted for a referendum,” Bouteflika said.
The national conference tasked with setting a date for the new presidential elections and determining other parameters of the transition period, will most likely be headed by Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian foreign minister and former United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, according to TSA.