Algeria confirms Tebboune as new president, despite protests

Algerian President-elect Abdelmadjid Tebboune waves to greet attendees during a press conference in the capital Algiers, on December 13, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 16 December 2019

Algeria confirms Tebboune as new president, despite protests

  • Tebboune won the vote in the first round with 58% of the vote
  • The constitutional body said the vote was carried out in a “good climate”

ALGIERS: Algeria’s Constitutional Council has confirmed Abdelkader Tebboune as the new president of Africa’s largest country for the next five years — despite mass protests challenging his election last week.
Tebboune won the vote in the first round with 58% of the vote, the head of the Constitutional Council announced on state television Monday. The other four candidates didn’t contest the result.
The constitutional body said the vote was carried out in a “good climate” — and didn’t mention the protests that have filled the streets of Algiers and other cities every Friday since February.
The peaceful pro-democracy movement pushed out Tebboune’s ailing predecessor, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, after 20 years in charge of this oil-rich country struggling with corruption. The protesters reject Tebboune because he served as prime minister in the old regime, and because the vote was organized by a power structure they want thrown out.
Tebboune vowed after his victory was announced Friday to reach out to the protesters and fight corruption.
The inauguration date has not been set but is expected before the end of the year.


UAE airlines Emirates, Etihad resume limited passenger flights

Updated 29 min 36 sec ago

UAE airlines Emirates, Etihad resume limited passenger flights

  • Emirates said it operated a flight to London late Sunday, Frankfurt on Monday
  • Etihad tweeted it operated a flight to South Korean capital Seoul

DUBAI: UAE carriers Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have resumed limited passenger flights two weeks after authorities grounded airlines as part of wider shutdowns to combat coronavirus.
The flights are open to foreign citizens who wish to leave the United Arab Emirates, but no incoming passengers are allowed. Foreign residents are banned from re-entering until at least mid-April.
Dubai’s Emirates, the largest carrier in the Middle East, said it operated a flight to London late Sunday and another to Frankfurt on Monday as part of its limited resumption.
It said in a statement that it plans to operate four flights a week to London and three weekly flights each to Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich.
Wearing face masks and other protective gear at Dubai Airport on Monday, some 212 travelers to Frankfurt went through thermal screening before they boarded the aircraft.
Etihad said on its Twitter account that it resumed limited operation with a passenger flight to Seoul on Sunday.
The carrier said it will operate seven flights to Seoul, five to Singapore, six to Manila and two flights to Jakarta through April 21.
Last week Emirates said that cleaning and disinfection of the planes will take place after each flight.
UAE civil aviation authorities slapped a total ban on passenger flights two weeks ago at all the Gulf state’s airports.
But the two carriers on Thursday were issued approvals for limited flights to repatriate stranded foreigners.
The UAE has declared 2,076 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths.
It has imposed a sweeping lockdown, including the flight ban and closure of borders, shopping malls, entertainment centers and markets.
A 24-hour curfew was introduced on Thursday following a big jump in the number of cases in the UAE, where some 10 million people live.