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Algeria: Hundreds of thousands march on the removal of President Bouteflika



  Police shoot tear gas at crowds in Algeria

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EPA

Caption

Protesters demand the resignation of President Bouteflika

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Algeria to demand the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

According to estimates, the population in Algiers reached one million people. It is the sixth Friday in a row that mass protests are going on against the government in the country.

Earlier this week, a General of the Army, General General Ahmed Gaed Salah, called for the position of President.

However, the opposition parties in Algeria declared that they would not guarantee free elections.

Algerian police fired tear gas In their bid to reach the presidency, Mohamed Arezki Himeur told the BBC in Algiers.

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The renewed demands for regime change come only days after Lt. Gen Gaed Salah has demanded the dismissal of Mr Bouteflika What do the protesters want?

Demonstrations against Mr Bouteflika began last month after the president, who was rarely seen in public since a stroke in 201

3, had announced his intention to serve for another term.

The President then agreed that there would be no fifth term in the forthcoming elections, which had been delayed.

However, the move was not well received by demonstrators, who said his decision not to walk was a cynical move to extend his 20-year reign.

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Getty Images

Caption

Some estimates are based on one million people marching in the capital Algiers

They are calling for the withdrawal of the President and a whole generation of Algerian political leaders, including those who would succeed them.

At the protest in Algiers, a member of the crowd was called out, as Ali told Reuters, "Today we have only one word to say, all the gangs have to get started right away, the game is over."

What happens now?

Lieutenant-General Gaed Salah, who is also Deputy Secretary of Defense and is considered loyal to Mr Bouteflika, has this week called for the use of Article 102, which allows the Constitutional Council to declare the President's position vacant.

The ruling party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), supported the general's request.

Under the Constitution, the Senate Chief, Abdelkhader Bansallah, became deputy head of state until a vote was possible.

Despite the significant interference, the Army Chief of Staff's appeal for protesters and opposition parties who have continued to protest on the streets does not seem to be enough.

Opposition Unimpressed

By Ahmed Rouaba, BBC Africa

Opposition parties and demonstrators in Algeria were unimpressed by the proposal by Lt. Gen. Gaid Salah to trigger Article 102 of the Constitution.

The majority of the demonstrators are young people who are not involved in party politics, and they say that they are not interested in Mr. Bouteflika's departure, just to see how power is transferred to his former allies – what different Brings faces of the same regime to power.

It's hard to predict what's going to happen That's because there is no indication that the opposition parties are influencing the demonstrators, who have no leader or spokesman who could hold talks with the authorities.

The army clearly wanted to see an end to the crisis, if they did that Mr Bouteflika had given up in an unexpected move. But they must find an influential party to discuss the process with.

The protesters' expectations are very high at the moment as they demand the withdrawal of "anyone associated with the regime", but they do not offer an alternative.

Lieutenant-General Gaid Salah had already rejected the idea of ​​"removing everyone," as expressed in the protests and social media.


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