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Algeria Inaugurates New President

Algeria Inaugurates New President

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 11:30
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. AFP

Former prime minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune was sworn in as the new president of protest-hit Algeria on Thursday during a pomp-filled ceremony that pro-democracy protesters rejected as a charade.

The elite hope Abdelkader Tebboune's inauguration allows Algeria to turn the page on 10 months of protests that put their legitimacy to lead in doubt and stalled the economy.

Uniformed officers from the four branches of Algeria's powerful military saluted Tebboune as he arrived at the presidential palace in Algiers for his inauguration.

After a reading from the Quran, the head of the Constitutional Council pronounced Tebboune as the winner of the presidential election held last week.

The new president was decorated with the national merit award as a military band played the Algerian anthem.

He was elected with 58 percent of the vote in an election boycotted by members of the country's peaceful protest movement.

He succeeds veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced from office in April in the face of mass demonstrations.

Tebboune, 74, is seen as close to the armed forces chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, who has been the country's effective ruler since Bouteflika quit.

Following his election, Tebboune vowed to "extend my hand to the Hirak (protest movement) for a dialogue", appoint young ministers and push for a new constitution.

Demonstrators responded by hitting the streets once again, calling Tebboune "illegitimate".

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