Protesters in Algeria are again rallying against the government and the interference of the military in the ongoing crisis two months ahead of planned general elections.
May 10 marks the 12th week of protests that have swept Algeria since February 22, and called for a radical change in government and the resignation of elites from the era of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The protesters are raising new slogans against the army, which heaps considerable influence in Algerian politics.
The slogans include, “Yes to a civilian rule, No and no to a military rule,” a “Civilian country and not a military,” and “There is no election, gangs.”
The demonstrators are refusing the July 4 general elections that Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah, a loyalist to Bouteflika, announced amid raging protests after the resignation of Bouteflika.
The protests in Algeria resulted in several changes in the government after the resignation of several elites.
The protests also put pressure on the Algerian army, urging its chief Gaid Salah to call on protesters to engage in a dialogue and to remain patient before the election.
The army chief also warned protesters against “unrealistic slogans.”
Protesters faced several clashes with riot police in peaceful protests as law enforcement fired tear gas and used water cannons several times to disperse protesters.
The muscular security approach, however, has not stopped protesters from continuing their protest against Algeria’s governing system.
Unimpressed by the both interim government’s promises of “fair and transparent” elections and the military’s warnings, Algerians are inflexible on their call for a full-throated rupture with the Bouteflika establishment.
By Safaa Kasraoui