Diplomat, protesters to plan Algeria's future

Diplomat, protesters to plan Algeria's future

Diplomat, protesters to plan Algeria's future

Moreover, the president said that he would seek major changes to the country's government and that an inclusive and independent national conference would oversee reforms and the drafting of a new constitution.

But on Tuesday, there was more skepticism over his decision to delay an April 18 election without setting a new date, which opponents say could leave him in power indefinitely. The Kabyle was replaced by Noureddine Bedoui, who used to head the Ministry of Interior.

The departure of the unpopular prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, is not likely to satisfy protesters either.

So much about the 82-year-old Bouteflika, badly weakened by a 2013 stroke, has remained an enigma. He has faced mounting pressure in recent weeks demanding that he abandon plans to seek another term.

"The students are resisting the extension of the fourth mandate", they chanted in a square outside the main post office of Algiers, a day after Bouteflika cancelled next month's presidential election.

On Sunday, President Bouteflika returned from Switzerland where he had been receiving medical treatment.

In a statement, the president stated that he would postpone the date of the presidential elections and allow the formation of a transitional government, which should be given the authority to organize the next elections. Should the election process descend further into chaos, it is possible that the military will step in, akin to the Egyptian military's action during the country's 2011 protests.

Born in the Moroccan city of Oujda to a family originally from the Algerian town of Tlemcen, west of Algiers.

Algerian president back home amid mass protests against him
Algerian president returns home after 'routine medical checks' in Geneva

Watch: Thousands in Montreal protest Bouteflika government:Huge crowds gathered outside the Algerian consulate in Montreal to protest the country's ruling government and to stand in solidarity with people in the north African country amid what's being called the "Algerian Spring".

While Bouteflika and the country's armed forces neutralized Algeria's Islamic insurgency, they then watched it metastasize into a Sahara-wide extremist movement linked to smuggling and kidnapping - and to al-Qaida. Protests also were held in neighbouring Rabat, Morocco.

Algerians who celebrated late into the night woke up Tuesday unsure of Bouteflika's real intentions.

His capitulation on a re-election bid likely will assuage some concerns.

In September, Bouteflika's convoy is the target of a suicide attack and in December two other attacks, also claimed by AQIM, target United Nations offices and the Constitutional Council.

High school students marching with a huge national flag in central Algiers Sunday.

Exceptionally, some judges also joined a lawyers' protest in the city of Bedjaia in Kabylie, a region historically opposed to the powers-that-be in Algiers.

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