Algerians protesting against the interim leader
Protests have erupted in Algeria ever since the announcement of the Presidential elections for succeeding Bouteflika. However, no violence has been reported even after the riot police dressed in helmets and carrying shields tried the clear the main site of protest outside the main post office in the centre of the capital of Algeria, the Algiers.
Police was encircled by thousands of protestors who were out on the streets to raise their voice against the alleged manoeuvring of the regime to remain in power. The crowd of protestors were shouting silmiya, silmiya which means peaceful, peaceful as they made way for the police to back off and also urged the police officers to join them.
Social media has also helped fuel the mass protests which had led to the end of the two-decade-old rule of Bouteflika which have been filled with calls which have entered the 18th day of protests with the slogan, “They will all leave”.
It is said that the Presidential elections will be held on July 4, 2019, as was announced by the interim leader Abdelkader Bensalah. The new date was set exactly after a day when Bensalah had assumed office for a 90-day period as had been suggested by the Constitution thus adding to the disappointment of the protestors. The 72-year old interim ruler is barred by the Constitution to fight the elections, the protestors are demanding that he should step down. Various students and magistrates have called for rallies and protests in and around the capital of the North African country.
It is for the first time ever since the protests had begun against the Bouteflika’s rule in February that the police and other forces had tried to block the access to the main post office. The action was, however, not enough to dissuade the young protestors. The protestors are of the view that there cannot be free and fair elections if they are held under the same judicial framework and the institutions which were formed under the Bouteflika’s regime.
The public is also angry with the military chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who has played a significant role in the ousting of President Bouteflika and later gave support to the interim leader. General has however stated that he stands up for the defence of Algerian institutions and has issued warnings against use of any unrealistic slogans who in his view are targeting to sweep away the whole system.