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News > World

Algeria: Protesters Demand Presidential Elections Be Delayed

  • Students and police confront each other during an anti government protest in Algiers, Algeria, May 19, 2019.

    Students and police confront each other during an anti government protest in Algiers, Algeria, May 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 May 2019

The intensity of demonstrations increased due to the arrest of dozens of citizens during this week.

For the 14th consecutive Friday, Algerians took to the streets demanding the resignation of the officials that have taken power following the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Unlike previous occasions, confrontations with the police were more serious this week as the population called for the July 4 presidential elections to be postponed.


Algerians Intensify Street Protests Before Ramadan

Algeria's Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, who was a senator for the centrist National Rally for Democracy (RND), set out a proposal​​​​​​ for a political transition which is said to have not even convinced members of his own party.

"A lasting crisis will have serious consequences in the economic and social fields," the chief of staff from the Algerian People's National Army, Ahmed Gaid Salah, warned in his last speech and explained that only "the holding of the presidential election will silence those who are trying to perpetuate such crisis," as Jeune Afrique reported.

The Interim presidential alliance parties -the National Movement of Hope (TAJ) and the Algerian People's Movement (MPA)- openly supported General Salah’s position on Wednesday.

The Algerian Police, on Friday, arrested citizens who were protesting near “La Grande Poste”, the main post office which has become a one of the main rallying points for demonstrations in Algiers since Feb. 22.

At the Algiers' main post office. ''There will be a march on July 4.''

Nevertheless, hundreds of demonstrators kept demanding the dismantling of Bouteflika’s whole power system, a request which includes removing acting President Bensalah, Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and General Salah.

“We will continue protesting”, "We are tired of generals!” or "Get out of here Salah!" were among the demostrator's favourite chants, as TelQuel reported.

The political situation has heated up even more since ​​​​​​​May 9, due to the arrest of the Algerian Workers' Party Secretary-General, Louisa Hanoune, a well-known activist who was the first woman to run for the presidency in 2004.

An international solidarity campaign in favor of Hanoune's liberation has been launched. The Argelian leftist leader is accused of conspiracy to undermine military authority and conspiracy to change the regime. 

"I am aware of comrade Loise Hanoune' arbitrary detention... and since I know her political career, I have no doubt in joining thousands of citizens who are fighting for her immediate release," the Brazilian political prisoner and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wrote on an open letter on May 22.


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