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  • Demonstrators chat slogans during a protest to demand that a presidential election next month be cancelled until the old ruling guard steps aside and the army quit politics, in Algiers, Algeria November 29, 2019.

    Demonstrators chat slogans during a protest to demand that a presidential election next month be cancelled until the old ruling guard steps aside and the army quit politics, in Algiers, Algeria November 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 November 2019

The military has pushed for the December 12 election as the only way to resolve the deadlock between the authorities and the opposition movement.

Tens of thousands of Algerian protesters marched on Friday to demand that a presidential election next month be cancelled until the old ruling guard step aside and the army quit politics.

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Algerians of all ages joined the protests in the capital Algiers, with one elderly woman accusing the government of having "destroyed the country" and called them "liars and thieves."

The marches, held in cities and towns across the country, marked the 41st consecutive weekly protest of a movement that has already forced the ruling hierarchy to jettison a veteran president and jail top officials.

Protesters on Friday chanted "No to the election," "Free the detainees" and "the army should leave politics" as they marched through central Algiers. One protester held up a customised mouse trap with a vote card on the catch.

"You fooled them in 1962 and in 1992 but in 2020 we will win peacefully," read another banner.

"We want freedom, these people want freedom, we have given them 57 years to change and build the country but they can't. It's time for people to get back the authority," said another protester.

Since the election campaign officially began earlier this month, tensions have escalated, with more frequent demonstrations, more arrests, longer prison terms and scuffles between police and protesters in a provincial town on Wednesday.

"We went out to tell them that we are against December 12 elections," said a protester marching along the protests. We will keep it peaceful, so stop trying to make troubles into our Hirak (protest movement), and release our detainee brothers because it's unfair, and long life to Algeria."

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