Algeria Parliament confirms Abdelkader Bensalah as new interim president, protesters reject decision
In yet more upheaval for Algeria since the ousting of long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the controversial head of the country's constitutional council quit Tuesday bowing to weeks of anger from protesters.
Tayeb Belaiz's resignation was announced by state television and comes as the council prepares to oversee a presidential election.
The 70-year-old is one of the "3B" top figures targeted by demonstrators in mass rallies which prompted the departure of Bouteflika this month.
"We will continue what we have started," said university student Linda, one of thousands taking part in a protest Tuesday in central Algiers.
Police were massively deployed around the capital's post office building, the focal point of anti-government rallies which first erupted in February.
"Free Algeria," chanted protests, who rallied outside the iconic building.
Despite Bensalah calling a presidential election on July 4, demonstrations have continued as Algerians call for a broader overhaul of the political system.
"We will continue to march until a transitional (authority) led by clean politicians is set up," medical student Mira Laifa told AFP.
"The people want them all to leave," chanted the crowds, in reference to the interim authorities.
Demonstrators fear that the election will not be free and fair if they are held under the same judicial framework and institutions as those of the Bouteflika regime.
The constitutional council which Belaiz resigned from plays a key role in elections, vetting candidates and ensuring the regularity of the polls.
The same day Bouteflika announced he would seek a fifth term in polls initially scheduled for April, despite rarely being seen in public since a 2013 stroke.
His bid to cling to power sparked mass demonstrations which spread nationwide and ultimately prompted the president to resign on April 2 after two decades in power.
Despite Bouteflika's resignation, Algerians have kept up their demonstrations to call for a broad overhaul of the political system.
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