Protests rock Algeria for fifth consecutive week

March 23, 2019
Algiers: Thousands of Algerians took to the streets for the fifth Friday in a row to demand the resignation of the country’s ailing President.

Demonstrators yet again called for long-serving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down, Efe news reported.

“Today is a great day. Today all Algerians will come here and this regime will fall,” Ahmed A.l, a lawyer who took part in the protests alongside his wife and children, told EFE.

Early on Friday morning, families streamed into Grand Post Square in the centre of the capital Algiers as street vendors sold hats, scarves, flags and vuvuzelas to the growing crowd of protestors.

Thousands chanted anti-regime slogans such as “we want to bring down the regime” and carried anti-government signs.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui – a former Interior Minister – and his Deputy Prime Minister Ramtane Lamamra have yet to successfully form a unity government and stabilize the increasingly volatile political situation.

Appointed by Bouteflika on March 11, Bedoui and Lamamra have called on civil society organizations and trade unions to work in consultation with the government, but many of these groups have openly sided with the demonstrators against the state.

Bouteflika renounced his bid for a fifth term in office on March 11 but also postponed the Presidential elections scheduled for April 18, a move seen by many inthe North African country as an attempt to extend his and his supporters’ rule.

Protests against the president first broke out among soccer fans at matches several months ago, before spilling onto the streets of the capital and spreading to other cities in February.

IANS

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