Algeria’s Abdelkader Bensalah named interim president

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By Agencies

Algeria’s parliament has appointed the speaker of its upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah, to succeed former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as the country’s interim leader.

Bouteflika, in power for 20 years, resigned last week following a series of huge anti-government protests.

Bensalah will lead the country during a transition period in the run-up to a presidential election.

But many protesters, seeking more radical change, do not back him.

“I want to work towards fulfilling the interests of the people,” AFP news agency quotes the new interim president as telling parliament.

“It’s a great responsibility that the constitution demands of me.”

He is due to be in office for 90 days.

As soon as the appointment of Bensalah was announced, protesters took to the streets demanding “Bensalah go”.

From the start of the protests in February, the demonstrators have not just been focusing on the ailing Bouteflika, Algeria analyst James McDougall told the BBC.

Placards and online posts have been demanding an end to the “system”, or “Le Pouvoir”, meaning that all those around the former president should also go.

The allegation was that Bouteflika was used as a front for a group of businessmen, politicians and military officials, who are said to really run the country.