After many weeks of unprecedented protests by youth and others in Algeria, long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, has finally bowed out as leader of the north African nation of 41.5 million people.
Bouteflika, who ruled Algeria ever since 1999 and continued his rule in virtual absentia after suffering a stroke back in 2013, had in March proclaimed that he would seek another term as president. His continued ambition to lead the lives of many forward thinking Algerians prompted major protests. My thoughts on this long term president and the aspirations of Algeria's youth were posted in My Blog on Sunday, March 03, 2019 and on Monday, March 11, 2019.
Bouteflika's claim that he would not serve a full term if he was elected in elections that were slated for early April did little to quell protests. His return to Algeria promising political and constitutional reforms were not sufficient to answer the dreams of Algeria's youth. Protests continued. Earlier this week, Bouteflika claimed he would resign his presidentship at the end of April, but that too didn't stop the intent of Algerians to move beyond the aging strongman.
Then, finally yesterday, Bouteflika bowed to youthful pressure and resigned as president thus giving way to more likely democratic and development reforms within Algeria. Bouteflika had survived the "Arab Spring" but he could not weather the ambitions of Algeria's youth seeking leadership more aligned with their aspirations.
While the road ahead might prove bumpy for Algerians, the people - the youth and the entire nation, now have the opportunity to chart Algeria in a united direction toward an agreed destiny. I wish the best of prosperity to Algeria's youth.