Algerian President Bouteflika pulls candidacy for fifth term

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On Monday, Algerians came out on the streets Monday night to celebrate President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's decision to withdraw his candidacy for president in the 2019 election. "They will use this conference as an opportunity to find a way to remain in power". Will the North African country's majority-young population realize hopes for a political sea change?

The US State Department said it supported Algeria's efforts to chart a new path forward.

In a letter to the nation released by state news agency APS on Monday, Bouteflika, 82, stressed the importance of including Algeria's disillusioned youth in the reform process and putting the country "in the hands of new generations".

Bouteflika accepted his resignation, and appointed Algerian interior minister Noureddine Bedoui in Ouyahia's place.

But for numerous protesters - students, lawyers and even judges among them - the most important sentence in the president's letter read, "There will be no fifth term".

After initial celebrations following Bouteflika's concessions, Algerians were back on the streets Tuesday, underscoring that they, too, were skeptical of the government's apparent U-turn.

High school students marching with a huge national flag in central Algiers Sunday. "It is obvious that the regime is afraid of the people and the peaceful protest", he said, adding that he sees the president's move as a tactical necessity more than a desire for honest reform.

Others are looking to the past, and taking a more sanguine view.

France, home to a large Algerian population and with close economic ties to its former colony, has been watching the protests closely.

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He says he plans to appoint a new government and a separate "national conference" tasked with rescheduling the election and drafting a new constitution.

An Algerian government plane took off from Geneva's Cointrin airport on Sunday and made the short flight to Algeria, where al-Arabiya Hadath TV reported a heavy security deployment between Algiers airport and the presidential residence in Zeralda, outside the capital. He was an old face - a veteran of the country's war of independence from France who became foreign minister at the age of 26. He controversially offered amnesty to Islamist fighters not involved in major atrocities in the 1990s conflict. The reason for this is to answer your urgent call to me.the delay in the presidential election comes to soothe fears and allow time for tranquility to reign.

In addition to protesting Bouteflika, citizens are also protesting against the elites, a group of army officers, generals, businessmen known as "le pouvoir".

"It's billions and billions", Benflis said.

"The whole system must disappear immediately".

"The protests that changed his mind have shattered years of political inertia and unsettled Algeria's opaque but powerful security establishment", NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris. Her sign reads: "System, go away". Each carried its own stamp, Mohsen-Finan said, and what happens to Algeria will be no different.

Algerians took to the streets of Algeria, chanting "this is a republic, not a kingdom" and "20 years is more than enough". Ratmane Lamamra was also promoted to Deputy Prime Minister, a first in Algeria.

But joy gave way to doubt as the president's statement was scrutinised more carefully.

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