Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns

Algerian protesters and political leaders are concerned that Abdelaziz Bouteflika's departure will leave the country's secretive distrusted power structure in place

Algerian protesters and political leaders are concerned that Abdelaziz Bouteflika's departure will leave the country's secretive distrusted power structure in place

The veteran leader would take "steps to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period", it said in the brief statement that was carried by the official APS news agency.

But only around one person was confirmed to have died during the protests, a man believed to be around 60 years old who suffered a heart attack, with most rallies peaceful and protesters cleaning up the streets before going home.

Pressure had been building during the day with opposition groups demanding Bouteflika go immediately, while hundreds of students marched through the capital Algiers to demand the replacement of a political system widely seen as incapable of significant reform.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has stepped down after 20 years in office and weeks of massive nationwide protests aimed at pushing him out of power.

Bouteflika has come under mounting pressure to step down since his decision to seek a fifth term despite rarely being seen in public after suffering a stroke in 2013.

His resignation means that Abdelkader Bensalah, chairman of the upper house of Parliament, will be caretaker president for 90 days until elections are held.

A new caretaker government headed by recently appointed Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui was announced on Sunday.

"Bouteflika's decision (to resign by the end of his term) will change nothing", Mustapha Bouchachi, a lawyer and protest leader, told Reuters earlier on Tuesday. "He will leave but the same regime, which has ruled Algeria since 1962 and its independence, will stay if we don't continue to protest", said Mohamed.

The council has such power under article 102 of the country's constitution, and without the parliamentary approval declare the presidency vacant.

In Egypt, more than 800 people were killed in the 2011 uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak.

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The United States said the future of Algeria was now up to its people.

Once a close ally of Mr Bouteflika, Gen Salah first broached the possibility of impeachment last week.

Tuesday started like any other weekday since the protests began, with some students protesting and others going to work after joining a mass rally on Friday, Algeria's weekend.

State TV then reported that this would be with immediate effect. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

The defense ministry's call came hours after the vice defense minister, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, said: "We will support the people until their demands are fully and completely satisfied".

On Monday, he said he would resign by the end of his fourth term on April 28, capitulating to growing calls for his resignation.

"We want a regime change" and "We don't want Bouteflika or Said [his brother and presidential adviser]", the crowd chanted. He had also vowed to undertake unspecified measures for the sake of stability, making many wonder what would happen next.

After his resignation, hundreds of Algerians took to the streets of the capital waving Algerian flags or driving in convoys through the city centre, where on February 22 mass protests broke out.

"The army and the people are one" and "Game over", banners read.

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