Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned after weeks of massive street protests, leading to celebrations across the country.
Mr Bouteflika, who has been ill since he suffered a stroke six years ago, has avoided public events ever since.
The ailing, 82-year-old leader announced he was stepping down with immediate effect in a letter published by state-run APS news agency on Tuesday, just hours after the army chief demanded action to remove him from office.
The BBC’s Mohamed Arezki Himeur in Algiers says there were huge celebrations in the city, with people shouting and honking their car horns all night.
He says the protesters do not only want Mr Bouteflika to go, but the whole system, in particular the government which was only appointed last weekend.
“This is just a little victory – the biggest is still to come,” one protester said.
Car horns could be heard in the streets of the capital, Algiers, as hundreds celebrated the announcement, BBC reports. Excited citizens waved Algeria’s national flags and sang as they celebrated.
One man, Selmaoui Seddik, told Reuters:
“God willing, we will have a 100% democratic transition, this is very important. We need to remove the whole previous regime and that is the hardest thing.”
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