Algerian President Bouteflika Resigns

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria's state news agency APS has reported that the country's embattled president has quit. His stepping down comes after weeks of street protests, delays and resignations.

Algeria's president informed the country's constitutional council Tuesday of his decision to stand down, state news agency APS has reported.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation followed an aggressive call from the country's defense ministry for the embattled president to quit "immediately" following weeks of street protests.

How we got here:

The defense ministry's call came hours after the vice defense minister, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, said: "We will support the people until their demands are fully and completely satisfied."

On Monday, the president's office announced that the 82-year-old would step down before his mandate expired on April 28.

A new caretaker government headed by recently appointed Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui was announced on Sunday.

While he had declared his candidacy for a fifth term in February, he then withdrew and postponed the election in response to massive protests against his rule.

'For the Algerian people to decide'

The United States said the future of Algeria is up to its people, following Tuesday's announcement.

"Questions about how to navigate this transition in Algeria, that is for the Algerian people to decide," a state department official told reporters.

Ailing leader: Bouteflika ruled Algeria for 20 years. He had a stroke in 2013 and has rarely been seen in public since. He came to power with the support of an army battling Islamist guerrillas, but nobody expected him to stay in office for so long.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

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