Algeria Inaugurates New President




Algeria is inaugurating its new president, Abdelkader Tebboune, on Thursday,  after eight months without a leader.

The governing elite hopes Tebboune’s inauguration allows their gas-rich country to turn the page on 10 months of protests that have thrown their legitimacy into doubt and stalled the economy.

Tebboune, a 74-year-old former prime minister considered close to Algeria’s powerful army chief, was elected with 58 per cent of the vote in an election boycotted by members of the country’s peaceful protest movement.

Algeria’s Constitutional Council on Monday, Dec. 16 confirmed Abdelkader Tebboune as the new president of Africa’s largest country for the next five years — despite mass protests challenging his election last week.

The council announced on state television that the other four candidates didn’t contest the 58 per cent of the votes won by Tebboune.

The constitutional body said the vote was carried out in a “good climate” — and didn’t mention the protests that had filled the streets of Algiers and other cities every Friday since February.

The new president has promised to reach out to the protesters and to fight corruption – a major problem in Africa’s biggest country.

Tebboune inherits a large youth population disillusioned with unemployment and out-of-touch rulers as well as a myriad of economic challenges. (Xinhua/NAN)