Algeria set to get new constitution and government

Algeria set to get new constitution and government
Algerian lawyers gather outside the Algiers court house, Monday, March 11, 2019. Lawyers held protests Monday, and workers held scattered walkouts, as their tense nation waits to see whether ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika offers any concessions in the face of unprecedented protests. (AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum)

The president of Algeria says he is creating a new government and a special body to draft a new constitution to respond to mass protests.

The changes were part of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's dramatic announcement on Monday that he ceded to public demands and abandoned his bid for a fifth term.

He also announced that the presidential election scheduled for April 18 will be delayed.

Mr Bouteflika pledged not to run for president again, noting his health and age.

Mr Bouteflika is 82 and has barely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke, fuelling frustration with his secretive leadership style.

He says he plans to appoint a new government and a separate "national conference" tasked with rescheduling the election and drafting a new constitution.

He made the announcements in a letter to the nation released by state news agency APS.

-Press Association

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