New Algerian president sworn in amidst protest

Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been sworn in as the new Algerian president after he was declared the winner of a highly boycotted elections.

Former prime minister succeeds veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced from office in April in the face of mass demonstrations.

His closeness with the former president is seen by most as a repeat of the former regime in all ways and are protesting against his elections which he won with Demonstrators even before the December 12 polls had

opposed the vote demanding an overhaul of the country’s political system to get rid of old regime bureaucrats and officials.

Tebboune must now address the grievances of the protesters, who have remained on the streets to prevent what they see as a ploy by the political elite to retain its hold on power.

Following his election, the 74 year old vowed to “extend my hand to the Hirak (protest movement) for a dialogue”, appoint young ministers and push for a new constitution.

Meanwhile one of the protesters said “We are not against dialogue and negotiations to end the crisis, but we cannot shake Tebboune’s hand if he doesn’t first free the detainees,” said Abdeljabar, a student protester.

After taking the oath he said in a speech that consultations on a new constitution that he promised last week would start soon, and that it would limit presidents to two terms of office. He pledged to fight corruption and

diversify the economy.

His predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika served as President of Algeria from 1999 to his resignation in 2019 for 20 years.

By John Paul Sama