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Abdelkader Bensalah appointed interim president in Algeria

The Algerian Parliament, meeting on Tuesday, appointed Abdelkader Bensalah to act as interim representative for Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a maximum of 90 days.

The President of the Council of the Nation, Abdelkader Bensalah, was named Tuesday acting president, for 90 days, at a meeting of the Algerian Parliament, a week after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, according to the national television.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika had resigned last Tuesday as President of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria. This resignation, which the Algerian people demanded with all their wishes and obtained thanks to the peaceful demonstrations that all the cities of the neighboring country knew, opened the democratic appetite of the Algerians.

Thus, it is the departure of all the leaders of the system set up by the now ex-president who is the leitmotif of the Algerian street. The president of the Council of the Nation, the upper house of the Algerian Parliament, was best placed to take over. But Abdelkader Bensalah is among the political figures that the Algerian people no longer want because embodying, too, the system hated by the protesters. How will the people react?

Under Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution, the resignation of the head of state, the Constitutional Council meets “by right”, that is to say on its own initiative. He then observes, by a majority of its members, “the definitive vacancy of the presidency”. It communicates “immediately the definitive act of vacancy” to the Parliament, whose two Houses, the National People’s Congress (NPC, lower house) and the Council of the Nation, meet “by right”. The Constitution does not specify that a vote must take place.

It is therefore the president of the Council of the Nation, currently held by Abdelkader Bensalah, who then ensures the interim for a period of up to 90 days. A presidential election must be organized during this 90-day period.

The acting head of state can not be a candidate for this election and the government can not be dismissed or reorganized before the election of a new president of the republic. If the prime minister is a presidential candidate, he automatically resigns and is replaced by a member of the government appointed by the acting head of state.

The acting president can not consult the population by referendum, can not initiate a revision of the Constitution, nor legislate by ordinances, nor dissolve the NPC. He does not have the right of pardon, remission or commutation a sentence.

It must obtain the approval of both Houses of Parliament to declare the state of siege, the state of emergency, the general mobilization or the war and to sign the peace treaties.

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