Algeria’s parliament has officially confirmed Senate President Abdelkader Bensalah as acting head of the state for the next 90 days.
The decision on Tuesday to name Bensalah interim president follows the constitutional council’s decision last week to declare the presidency vacant, after Bouteflika announced his resignation.
Bensalah will rule until new elections are held, in accordance with the country’s constitution.
On Friday and just days after Bouteflika stepped down, tens of thousands of Algerians marched in cities across the country to demand a complete overhaul of the political system.
Demonstrators said they now wanted the departure of Bouteflika loyalists, including Bensalah who is known to be a close confidant of the former president.
The men who head Algeria’s other two branches of power, Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and President of the Constitutional Court Tayeb Belaiz, are also proving to be unpopular with protesters.
“If they keep the momentum for the next couple of weeks, they will definitely have their message heard by the military establishment,” said Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra.
“You cannot afford to have, in a country like Algeria, a disconnect between a political elite – which is more and more isolated – and a growing democracy movement which is saying the results that we are seeing so far fall short of our demands.”
More to follow…