Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president of Algeria, on Monday announced in a letter that he would not seek a fifth term as president and called off the presidential elections scheduled on April 18. He explained that a national conference on political and constitutional reform would be held and a new Constitution written and approved by referendum.

The stunning development came after mass protests by Algerians since Feb. 22 opposing Mr. Bouteflika’s attempt at re-election. Mr. Bouteflika, who is 82, had a stroke in 2013 and hasn’t addressed his nation in six years. Algerians found his desire to hold on to power absurd and insulting.

The full article was originally published in The New York Times.