Algerian elections cancelled as elites bow to street protests

Algeria’s Constitutional Council has postponed the Presidential election planned for July 4th amid claims that no suitable candidates had come forward. The move will be seen as a victory for street protesters who have rallied against the old order in the country.

The country has been gripped by street protests which resulted in the resignation of long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika two months ago. The 80 year old had been in power for more than two decades. Protesters had been skeptical about the election which they saw as being in the grip of the old elites and the army.

Abdelkader Bensalah had been appointed as interim President with a mandate to stay on until July 9th, but his term is now going to be extended and it is he who has been tasked with organising fresh elections, although no date has been set.

General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, had been overseeing the poll as the head of the Army and key powerbroker in the country. However the election was cancelled after the two candidates who came forward were deemed to be invalid due to a lack of supporting signatures.

The New York Times has more.