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Algerian New President Sworn in to Lead Crisis-Torn State

Thursday 19 December 2019
Algerian New President Sworn in to Lead Crisis-Torn State

Alwaght- Algerian newly-elected president Abdelmadjid Tebboune was sworn in Thursday, a week after winning elections marred by mass protests and record abstention.

He succeeds veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced out in April in the face of mass demonstrations after two decades in office.

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.

The 74-year-old is seen as close to the armed forces chief, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who has been the North African country's de facto strongman since Bouteflika quit.

He and other top brass attended the swearing-in ceremony alongside Tebboune's defeated rivals for the presidency.

All five candidates in the election had links to Bouteflika, who had clung to power despite suffering a debilitating stroke in 2013.

While Tebboune's period as prime minister ended with his sacking by Bouteflika, protesters see the longtime regime insider as part of the same corrupt system that has ruled Algeria since independence in 1962 -- a system they want dismantled.

Following his election, Tebboune invited the Hirak protest movement to engage in dialogue and vowed to appoint young ministers and push for a new constitution -- comments rejected by the protest movement.

But on Thursday he repeated those pledges.

"I renew my engagement to reach out to everyone," he said during a speech at the swearing-in ceremony. 

The new constitution will reduce the powers of the president and "guarantee the separation and balance of powers", he said.

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Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune

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