Compiled from various mainstream news outlets.
According to a statement published last Tuesday by the state-run Algeria Press Service (APS), Algeria’s 82-year-old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has resigned. “President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has officially notified president of the Constitutional Council of his decision to end his term as President of the Republic,” said APS. Bouteflika had announced his intentions to run for a fifth term in the presidential elections. The mass protests in Algeria ultimately forced Bouteflika to withdraw his candidacy. The government has since postponed the elections. Bouteflika stepped down before his term ended on April 28, promising he would “take important measures to ensure the continuity of the functioning of the State institutions during the period of transition.” (CNN)
Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian, held the lead after the first round of voting in Ukraine’s presidential election. With nearly 90 percent of the ballots counted by Monday, Zelensky had a 14-point lead on current President Petro Poroshenko. “This is only the first step toward a great victory,” said Zelensky. He has vowed to enact anti-corruption reforms and make Ukrainians “prosperous.” He has also promised to end the war with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. Zelesnky had previously said that he was ready to negotiate directly with Putin if that meant ending the conflict in the east. (CNN)
On Tuesday, Apr. 2, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared that the UK would need to seek another delay to the process of leaving the European Union (EU) and offered cross-party talks to break the political deadlock. “This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands and it requires national unity to deliver the national interest,” May said. The opposition Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, accepted May’s offer of talks. By offering to accept a compromise, May recognized that she will never be able to win full support in the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, nor in her own Conservative Party. That decision is certain to sow deep divisions on her own side. (CNN)
New Zealand’s proposed buyback of semi-automatic firearms could cost as much as $300 million NZD ($200 million USD), Winston Peters, the country’s deputy prime minister, said on Tuesday. In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks on Mar. 15, New Zealand has acted swiftly to change its gun laws. A bill, which proposes banning weapons, passed its first reading in Parliament and gained the support of every lawmaker in the house on Tuesday. If the bill passes, gun owners will have an amnesty until September to hand in their weapons and be compensated as part of a proposed buyback scheme. (CNN)
The party of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost control of the capital, Ankara, in local elections. According to the state-run Anadolu News Agency, the main opposition is also slightly ahead in the contest for mayor of Istanbul. The president’s AKF party is challenging the result in both cities. AKF-led alliances won more than 51% of the vote in Municipal elections. Considered a verdict on Erdogan’s rule, the elections have been taking place in an economic downturn. The currency has been losing value lately and the economy went into recession starting in October 2018. Erdogan looked ahead to national elections in 2023: “We have a long period ahead where we will carry out economic reforms without compromising on the rules of the free-market economy. If there are any shortcomings, it is our duty to correct them.” (BBC)