The protesters are demanding the departure of Bouteflika’s relatives who are propelled into power after his withdrawal from the presidential race.
The streets of Algiers are not empty for this ninth “act” of mobilization. An immense crowd filled the streets of central Algiers for several kilometers again for a new demonstration demanding the departure of the power of the entire apparatus inherited from deposed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Massive processions are also reported in the rest of the country, including Oran (west), Constantine and Annaba (east), the most important cities in Algeriaafter the capital, according to local journalists and national television.
In Algiers, the police, accused in recent weeks of trying to suppress the demonstrations, was quiet. “Sylmiya (peaceful) despite provocation and gas” tear, can we read on a sign.
“Release Bensalah,” chanted the protesters, addressed to the Speaker of the Upper House, Abdelkader Bensalah, incarnation of the Bouteflika regime propelled, in accordance with the Constitution, Acting Head of State on April 9, after the departure of power Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Galvanized by the resignation in the week of the President of the Constitutional Council, Tayeb Belaiz, close to the ousted president and key figure of his device, the protesters demand the departure of Bensalah, Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and all the personalities related to the regime Bouteflika.
“Peaceful people, violent government”
“It’s not because Belaiz has resigned that it’s over. Feniche, it’s not better. What has the Constitutional Council been doing apart from validating the fraud of the system of which it is a part? Asks Lyes Adimi, a 24-year-old student in Algiers.
“Feniche, Belaiz: kif-kif,” indicates a protester on a sign. On another one reads: “Peaceful people, violent government”.
The protesters also reject the convening of a presidential election on July 4 to elect a successor to Abdelaziz Bouteflika, saying that the structures and figures of the old regime can not guarantee a free and fair election. They demand a transition process managed by ad hoc structures.
The army and the opposition also contested
The transition process is supported by the army, put back in the center of the political game by the resignation of Bouteflika, while the political parties – in power as well as in opposition – are marginalized by the contestation and inaudible.
“All options remain open to find a solution to the crisis as soon as possible,” said this week General Ahmed Gaid Salah, chief of staff of the army and de facto strongman of Algeria, leaving think that the military institution could soften its position.
Also challenged by the street as ex-pillar of the regime, General Gaid Salah also wanted to reassure by saying that the army would not turn its weapons against the people.
Abdelkader Bensalah, for his part, has started meetings “within the framework of the will to concert”, according to the presidency, but the “national personalities” received seem far from corresponding to the change demanded by the contestation. The opposition was invited on Monday to a “consultation meeting”.