Rabat – The Algerian Parliament has appointed the president of the upper house, Abdelkader Besalaha, as interim president following President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation.
The interim president will take office for a maximum of 90 days until new elections take place, announced Algeria’s national television channel.
Bensalah will serve in accordance with Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution.
Article 102 says that the president of the upper house “shall assume the functions of the head of state for 90 days maximum during which presidential elections shall be held and the head of state appointed.”
On Saturday, the Council of the Nation, the Algerian upper house, said that “it was decided to hold a meeting of the two chambers of Parliament” on Tuesday to name the interim president.
The appointment is expected to escalate tension between the current government and protesters, who are demanding reforms and a sweeping change to those in power.
Demonstrators, who have continued to protest even after Bouteflika’s resignation on April 2, are calling for the whole system to leave.
Other Algerians argued that Bensalah cannot serve as an interim president because he was born a Moroccan.
Recently, the president of Algeria’s Justice and Development Front Party, Lakhdar Benkhellaf, said that Bensalah has a “problem with his nationality of origin. The condition for a [leader] occupying the post of President of the Republic, is that he must have the Algerian nationality of origin. And he had another nationality until 1964 during which he had obtained Algerian nationality.”
The protests, which are mostly led by young people, are also drawing the attention of Algerians residing abroad.
On Saturday, AFP quoted an Algerian woman who decided to come back home to join the protests.
“Since February 22, I have not been able to sleep, I am addicted to the internet to follow the events 24 hours a day and do not miss anything on social networks,” Algerian citizen Chahrazade Kaci said. Kaci said that she has been “exiled” in the UK for 25 years.