Connect with us

Foreign

Algerians keep up protests a year after demonstrations began

Published

on

Thousands of Algerians on Friday marched, a year since the start of weekly protests calling for a complete overhaul of the ruling elite, an end to corruption and the army’s withdrawal from politics.

“We will not stop,” chanted a crowd in the centre of the capital Algiers, in spite of a large police presence.

Over the past year the protesters have changed the face of Algeria’s power structure, causing the fall of a veteran president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and the arrest of dozens of leading figures including a once untouchable former intelligence chief.

However, while the new president has released people detained in the protests, set up a commission to amend the constitution and offered talks to the opposition, much of the old ruling elite remains in place.

The leaderless protest movement, known as “hirak”, is demanding more concessions, including the release of more activists and the departure of more senior figures from positions of power.

“Our hirak is tireless. We are ready to keep marching for months more,” said Yazid Chabi, a 23-year-old student on the central Didouche Mourad Street in central Algiers.

However, since December’s presidential election the number of protesters has fallen according to people attending the marches each week.

Hirak opposed the election, regarding as illegitimate any vote that took place while the old ruling elite was in power and while the military was involved in politics.

According to official statistics, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, a former prime minister seen by the protesters as part of the old elite, was elected, but turnout was only 40 per cent.

Report says even without the political unrest, his new government now faces a difficult economic year with energy revenues rapidly sinking, hitting state finances hard.

Chabi, who is studying law, said he has no expectation of finding work after he graduates.

“Algerians have been getting only promises. Nothing has improved in recent years because corruption is still there,” he said.

Two former prime ministers, several ex-ministers and prominent businessmen have been jailed after anti-graft investigations that followed protests demanding the prosecution of people involved in corruption.

Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad has said corruption and mismanagement resulted in a “delicate” economic situation for Algeria.

“Our country, being an OPEC member country, is also facing a negative impact from falling global crude oil prices.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide

Load more

Contact US: editor[at]nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247[at]gmail.com

Recent Posts

NNN News Nigeria: NNN is an online Nigeria news portal that publishes breaking news in politics, business, entertainment, sport, security, features, opinion, environment, education, technology, and the world news at large. NNN publishes only news that is factual, credible, verifiable, authoritative and investigative. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a unique media organization that is founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favor. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

© 2014 - 2019 NNN News Nigeria. All Rights Reserved.