Algeria cancels July 4 presidential vote, rejects candidates

Algeria's Constitutional Council says there will be no presidential election on July 4 as planned in the North African country after the two candidates — both unknowns — were rejected.

The council said in a statement Sunday that it is now up to the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, to set a new date for the vote.

Only two candidates turned in their files by the May 25 deadline, but the Constitutional Council rejected them. It did not say why.

Presidential elections were ordered after ailing long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 under pressure from the public and the powerful army chief, ending two decades of rule.

Citizens have held weekly pro-democracy protests since Feb. 22 to press for a new era with new leadership that has no links to Bouteflika.