Algerian interim president promises free elections

# 02:28
10 April 2019

Algeria’s interim president, in a televised speech, promised on Tuesday to organize free elections within 90 days following weeks of protests that led to the resignation of leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika after 20 years in power, ONA reports citing Reuters.

Abdelkader Bensalah, the interim president, was rejected by demonstrators right after he was named by Parliament to take charge during a volatile transition period after decades of autocratic rule.

“I am committed to organizing elections,” said Bensalah, who has been re-elected as leader of the upper house since the early 2000s. The army was aligned with the constitution as a pathway out of the crisis, he added in his 16-minute speech.

The critical question is how Algeria’s military, which has swayed Algerian politics from behind the scenes for decades, will react to Bensalah’s appointment and any opposition that arises.