Protesters carrying Algerian flags demand the removal of key officials from former Abdelaziz Bouteflika's regime in Algiers on Friday.
Protesters carrying Algerian flags demand the removal of key officials from former Abdelaziz Bouteflika's regime in Algiers on Friday.

Algeria witnesses first mass protests on Ramadan

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2019 03:33 IST

Algiers [Algeria], May 11 (ANI): Thousands of Algerians on Friday took to the streets here on the first Friday of Ramadan, pressing their demands for democratic reforms and ousting of key officials from former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's regime.
The demonstrations, which are being held for the 12th week in a row, comes even after 82-year-old Bouteflika stepped down last month following popular uprisings against the ailing leader, Anadolu News Agency reported.
Protesters, who are fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan month, are demanding the immediate departure of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Badawi, who were all part of Bouteflika's regime.
Bensalah, who was confirmed as Algeria's interim president by the Parliament last month, has promised to hold presidential elections within 90 days.
Despite Bensalah's assurance and his appointment as per the Algerian Constitution, agitators have been demanding his removal as the 76-year-old former Upper House speaker has close links with Bouteflika, besides being a seasoned establishment insider.
On April 2, Bouteflika resigned as Algeria's president before his mandate was to end on April 28, after remaining in power for about 20 years.
This came after a press statement issued by Bouteflika's office had said that the president will take steps to ensure "state institutions continue to function during the transition period", adding, his "resignation would occur before April 28, 2019".
The statement further noted that Bouteflika would "take important measures to ensure the continuity of the functioning of the state institutions during the period of transition."
Algeria has been witnessing protests since February against Bouteflika following his announcement that he was keen on contesting for a fifth term. However, he later gave in to the protesters' demands and abandoned his re-election bid, while delaying the presidential polls.
Protests, however, did not subside over Bouteflika's continued hold of power, after which the 82-year-old ailing leader tendered his resignation.
Bouteflika rarely made public appearances since suffering a stroke in 2013. (ANI)

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