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Algeria parliament to meet on 9 April to select interim president

Bouteflika ended 20 years in power after final nudge by military, following six weeks of protests calling for reforms
Algerians march during anti-government demonstration in capital Algiers on Friday (AFP)

Algeria's parliament is set to meet on 9 April to select an interim successor to president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, state media reported, after mass protests pushed the ailing leader from power.

Bouteflika ended 20 years in power after a final nudge by the military, following six weeks of protests calling for democratic reforms after almost 60 years of monolithic rule by veterans of the 1954-62 independence war against France.

"It was decided to hold a meeting of the two chambers of parliament on Tuesday," the upper house of parliament said on Saturday in a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

Algeria's constitution stipulates that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, currently 77-year-old Abdelkader Bensalah, should temporarily take the presidential reins, AFP said.

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But he, like Prime Minister Nouredine Bedoui and Tayeb Belaiz, head of a constitutional council who had formally received Bouteflika's resignation, are facing pressure from protesters to quit as they are seen as close to the establishment, Reuters said.

Demonstrators want a completely new political landscape and they see the three as part of an old guard that helped keep Bouteflika in power for 20 years.

In the weeks before Bouteflika's resignation, his inner circle was depleted by the resignation of several of his close allies from influential positions in politics and business.

Bensalah is to serve for as many as 90 days, during which a presidential election must be organised.

Protesters are calling for transitional institutions to be set up to implement reforms and guarantee free elections.