Algeria Announces December Date for Presidential Vote

Algerians will vote for a new president on 12 December to replace long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April aged 82 after 20 years in power amid street protests.

Mr Bouteflika, who has been ill since suffering a stroke six years before, had already dropped plans to seek a fifth term but the demonstrations continued against towards him and those in his circle.

The election announcement was made by Abdelkader Bensalah, the interim leader who has been unable to quell continuing protests by those demanding the creation of fresh institutions before any elections.

They say any vote under the current system would reinforce the status quo. But army chief Gen Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is currently seen as the real power in the country, has been insisting that polls take place before the end of this year.

Presidential polls initially planned for 4 July were postponed because of a lack of candidates, plunging the country into a constitutional crisis as the 90-day mandate for Mr. Bensalah expired in early July.