Protesters in Algeria have promised to continue their popular movement even after Bouteflika’s decision to step out of the presidential campaign.
Rabat – On Monday, Algerians came out on the streets Monday night to celebrate President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to withdraw his candidacy for president in the 2019 election.
Algerians are now expressing concerns that Bouteflika’s decision might be a trick to avoid further pressure and tension.
After announcing his decision, Bouteflika said that he would also postpone the 2019 presidential election planned for April 18.
In response, a popular Algerian satirical Twitter account tweeted, “We said no to a fifth term. He said, Ok Baby, we will stay together under the fourth,” referring to the decision as a trick to extend Bouteflika’s fourth term.
Thousands of Algerians shared the same concerns that the decision is just a way to allow Bouteflika to stay in power for an indefinite period.
After an overnight celebration, students rallied again on Tuesday in Algiers, accusing the president of attempting to extend his mandate, which ends April 28.
The protests swept several major cities in Algeria.
One Al Ghad television channel reporter said that protesters do not have confidence in the regime. “The government can be changed but … this mean nothing for Algerians who are calling for a real reform.”
In addition to protesting Bouteflika, citizens are also protesting against the elites, a group of army officers, generals, businessmen known as “le pouvoir.”
In a letter addressed to Algerian citizens on Monday, Bouteflika announced the holding of the presidential election as an extension of the “inclusive and independent” national conference and the “formation of a government of national competences.”
Protesters today, however, held banners reading: “No for a fourth or fifth mandate,” and “Leave means leave,” condemning Bouteflika’s decision to postpone the election.
The television reporter said that the majority of Algerians reject Bouteflika’s decision to postpone the election.
In his letter, published by Algerian government news agency APS, the ailing president said: “Given my state of health and age, my last duty towards the Algerian people was always contributing to the foundation of a new Republic.”
Shortly after his announcement, Ahmed Ouyahia resigned as prime minister.
Bouteflika accepted his resignation, and appointed Algerian interior minister Noureddine Bedoui in Ouyahia’s place.