Algeria’s interim President, Abdelkader Bensalah, has said, despite demands by protesters to postpone a vote until more of the ruling elite quit office, the country would hold its presidential election on December 12.

Weekly mass demonstrations forced veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign in April, leaving Algeria in constitutional limbo and facing a stand-off between protesters and the army-backed government.

The authorities had cancelled an election previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates, amid mass protests demanding the departure of the rest of the old guard including Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

Army chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has repeatedly called for an election as soon as possible, despite the opposition and protesters rejecting a vote with President Bensalah saying “Elections are the only democratic solution to the crisis,”.