Sometimes some political leaders in Africa make you wonder what at all is inside political power that they cannot let go of it when their time is up.
The 80-year-old wheelchair-bound President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has finally resigned, bowing to six weeks of massive demonstrations on the streets by thousands of Algerians, against his 20-year rule and his intention to continue with a fifth term in office.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. Since then, he has mostly been stuck in his wheelchair and is unable to stand and deliver a speech to his citizens. Despite the stroke and being in power for 20 years, Bouteflika wanted to seek re-election.
But the writing was on the wall. Thousands of people, young and old, were out on the streets protesting against him and the rest of Algeria’s political class. The army chief of staff called for his constitutional impeachment on grounds of poor health. It was time to go, especially after having lost the army’s support.
In a public letter on Wednesday, President Bouteflika asked forgiveness from the people of Algeria for any failings he had made and said his resignation was for the good of the country.
The speaker of Algeria’s upper house of parliament will now hold the fort as interim president until elections are held and political reforms are made.