Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that the upcoming presidential elections would be postponed, adding that he will not run for a fifth term. He promised to set up an interim body that will oversee the organisation of new elections and the drafting of a new constitution. The new date for elections and a date for a referendum on a new constitution were not specified in his address.
At the same time, the cabinet, including Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, announced their resignation amid the wave of popular protests. While the president promised to present his reshuffled cabinet soon, he has already presented a new prime minister, Noureddine Bedoui, the former interior minister, and a deputy prime minister, Ramtane Lamamra, who will also serve as foreign minister.
Algerians have been protesting since 22 February following Bouteflika's announcement that he would run in the 18 April election. Amid the rallies, Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in 2013 and has since been bound to a wheelchair, pledged that if he is re-elected, to call snap vote in which he wouldn't participate as a candidate in order to ensure a transition to a new president.
Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years, but has rarely been seen in public since he suffered the stroke. He recently returned from treatment that he underwent in Switzerland.