Algerian protesters gather during a demonstration calling for the removal of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah in Algiers, Algeria. Algeria's constitutional council has concluded it will not be possible to hold presidential elections on July 4 as planned, reports said on Sunday. File photo: AP Photo/Toufik Doudou.

ALGIERS - Algeria's constitutional council has concluded it will not be possible to hold presidential elections on July 4 as planned, state TV reported on Sunday, prolonging the country's transition after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned two months ago.

The constitutional council cited a lack of valid candidates, saying it had received only two candidates, who were deemed invalid.

The vote was meant to elect a new president after Bouteflika ended his 20-year rule in the wake of mass protests calling for wider political reforms.

Demonstrations have continued, demanding an end to the dominance of the elite who have ruled since the country won independence from France in 1962.

The council did not set a new date for the presidential elections, asking interim President Abdelkader Bensalah to organize a vote at a later date, state television said.

Bensalah had been appointed as interim leader until July 9.

Protesters have called for his removal and that of Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who was appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down. 

Reuters