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Algeria's interim president dies aged 80

Algeria's Abdelkader Bensalah attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League Summit in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Algeria's Abdelkader Bensalah attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League Summit in Tunis, Tunisia on 31 March 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Algeria's former interim president Abdelkader Bensalah, who ruled the country during an unprecedented political crisis in 2019, died today aged 80, Reuters reported the presidency saying.

Bensalah was named interim president after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down in April 2019 following mass street protests to reject his plan to seek a fifth term, and demand political and economic reforms.

Protesters were opposed to figures like Bensalah, a close associate of Bouteflika and his inner circle who dominated Algeria for decades.

Bouteflika, who ruled the North African country for two decades, himself died on Friday aged 84.

Protests continued after the resignation of Bouteflika despite the imprisonment of several senior officials for involvement in corruption cases during the Bouteflika era.

Bensalah, also head of the upper house of parliament for several years, remained in office until the election of the current president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in December 2019.

READ: Former Algerian president Bouteflika given state funeral

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