Algerians hold biggest anti-Bouteflika protests

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Photo: RR

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Hundreds of thousands of people crammed into central Algiers on Friday in the biggest protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20-year rule since unrest began last month.

Bouteflika on Monday reversed a decision to stand for another term after mass protests against him, but stopped short of relinquishing office and says he will stay on until a new constitution is adopted.

Algerians quickly rejected his offer and demanded that the 82-year-old president hand over power to a young generation of leaders who can create jobs and stamp out corruption.

Protests have peaked on Fridays. They are also taking place in other cities.

“Those who think we are tired are wrong. Our protests will not stop,” said doctor Madjid Benzida, 37, as police blocked streets leading to government offices and parliament.

Bouteflika has been losing allies in recent days since returning from medical treatment in Switzerland.

A senior FLN figure said in an interview on Thursday night the long-ruling president was “history now”.

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