Anti-Government Protests Intensify Among Algerian Students
Thousands of Algerian students are protesting against a presidential election scheduled for December 12th.
Thousands of students in Algeria have again taken to the streets of the capital city Algiers to protest the presidential election set to take place tomorrow.
Aljazeera reports that weeks of protests have seen students, now joined by workers, demanding political reforms and a removal of the political elite from the Algerian government.
Earlier this year in February, anti-government protests broke out after then President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he was extending his two-decade rule by running for a fifth term. However, after consecutive weeks of massive rallies and marches, Bouteflika officially stepped down as president. The 82-year-old was quoted as saying in a statement at the time, "There will be no fifth term," He added that, "There was never any question of it for me. Given my state of health and age, my last duty towards the Algerian people was always contributing to the foundation of a new Republic."
After Bouteflika's resignation, General Ahmed Gaid Salah emerged as the key figure within Algeria's political landscape. He proposed that a presidential election would be the "surest way to break the country's political deadlock".
However, many Algerian feel that the five presidential candidates, all of who are senior Bouteflika-era officials, will only serve to "regenerate the system" and result in "cosmetic changes" in the governance of the country. Additionally, they also want the interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui to be removed from government as well.
"Algerians want radical change. They are fed up," says 25-year-old protesting student Ahmed Kamili to Reuters.
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