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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Thousands of Algerians Take to Streets Despite Bouteflika Vow Not to Run

Politics

7Dnews London

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 15:41 GMT

Thousands of protestors took to the streets in the centre of the Algerian capital for a fourth consecutive Friday, demanding the ousting of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, rejecting his offer not to seek re-election.

With police standing back without intervening, the crowd at Algiers' landmark Grand Poste square was growing, hours before the scheduled start of a demonstration, calling on the 82-year-old president to step down, after two decades in power, according to AFP.

The rally is the first major test of whether Bouteflika has calmed anger on the streets with his surprise announcement on Monday March 11th, that he would not seek a fifth term, but was cancelling an April presidential poll.

"You pretend to understand us, we will pretend to listen to you," read a banner held aloft by the mostly young demonstrators.

Bouteflika had initially sparked joy among protesters when he said he would not stand again, but his move to cancel the vote prompted accusations of "tricks" and has sparked a new round of demonstrations.


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