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Tuesday 20th March 2018

New Algerian Premier Promises Inclusive Government but Protesters Fear Ruse


7Dnews London

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 07:59 GMT

Algeria’s newly appointed premier has called for the opposition to respond to dialogue and negotiation. He wants to form a technocratic government to calm the long-running protests and demonstrations which have taken place since president Abelaziz Bouteflika’s announcement of running for a fifth term, last February.

On Thursday March 14th, Noureddine Bedoui laid out his plans after Bouteflika’s withdrawal from the presidential race following dozens of rallies and the announcement of delaying elections to April. Yet, many activists fear his move may be just a ruse.

"Algerians were expecting Bedoui to provide answers, which he did not," Hassen Zitouni, 25, a young protestor, told Reuters.

Replacing Ahmed Ouyahia on Monday, Bedoui, 60, affirmed the new administration would be formed early next week including young Algerians and women who were involved in the protest movement.

Independent analyst, Farid Ferhi, was not convinced. "It’s like putting gasoline on fire. Demonstrators are unhappy and they will show it on Friday". Some lawyers and activists, who protesters have chosen to lead the drive for reforms, have ruled out negotiations, at least for now, as the military has said it will not tolerate chaos.

Activist Nadjib Belhimer dismissed the prime minister's promises. "This is why we should march massively tomorrow."

Older Algerians credit Bouteflika with ending a civil war between security forces and Islamists in the 1990s. They bet on him to deliver stability.