Algerians Mobilize Mass Protests Against Bouteflika’s Continued Puppet Presidency

Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating across Algeria to keep up pressure on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to try to prevent him from further extending his 20 year rule.

Bouteflika has been largely absent from the public since having a stroke in 2013. Many critics question whether he is now just a puppet candidate controlled by civilian and military figures close to the administration.

For three consecutive Fridays, Algerians have taken to the streets to press the president to step down. Tens of thousands of Algerians have defied large contingents of riot police and government efforts to quell protests by shutting down train and metro services without explanation. Police have fired tear gas on protesters and arrested hundreds of people.

Facing the continuing protests, the government has offered to limit the presidential term after the upcoming April election and to “change the system” that runs the country.

Even long term allies of the president have started to express support for the protests, revealing cracks among the long running ruling elite.



Image: “Flag of Algeria_1600-1066” by Anders J. Moen is in the Public Domain