Algerian constitutional council head quits; students march

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ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah appointed a new head of Algeria’s Constitutional Council late Tuesday after the former chief quit under pressure from protesters.

A statement from the presidency said Kamel Feniche would be the new council president, replacing Tayeb Belaiz, who the state news agency APS earlier reported had submitted his resignation to Bensalah. Feniche, a magistrate, has been a member of the council since 2016.

Belaiz is one of three figures in the interim government whose removal has been demanded by pro-democracy protesters. They are seen as part of the discredited regime of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned April 2 after six weeks of nationwide demonstrations calling for an end to his two-decade rule.

Belaiz’s departure could help calm protesters by clearing the way for someone considered more independent.

Also Tuesday, the military chief called on Algerians to show “patience” during the political transition ahead.

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A presidential election has been set for July 4 to choose the successor to Bouteflika, who stepped down under pressure from the military’s chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah.

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