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Gaid Salah Salutes ‘Popular Support’ for Algeria’s Election amid Protests

The statement comes amid continuous protests across Algeria, with demonstrators threatening to boycott the polls scheduled for December 12.

Rabat – Algerian army chief Gaid Salah has saluted Algerians “of all categories” who are supporting the army and the election, due to take place on December 12.

“We have noted with great admiration and pride the popular wave of support spreading throughout the country, as our people, all categories of people: men, women, young, old and students took to the streets in a beautiful image of cohesiveness of the people and solidarity showing support to the Army,” Gaid Salah said on Tuesday, November 19.

The de facto leader also thanked Algerians for chanting slogans, “most of which expressing a willingness to go massively to the polls on December 12, make a success of the presidential election and, consequently, contribute to the building of a promising future.”

Salah’s statement comes at a sensitive time that marks continuous demonstrations and protests against the interim government and the upcoming polls.

Despite calls from demonstrators for the resignation of all politicians from the era of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, two of the five presidential candidates are former prime ministers. Both Ali Benflis and Abdelmadjid Tebboune have launched candidacy campaigns.

The candidates began their campaigns on November 17.

Friday, November 15 marked the 39th week of protests, seeking radical change and the end of the corruption and dysfunctions that characterized the country’s political regime during the Bouteflika years.

The nearly 40 weeks of protests that began in February make it clear that protesters do not trust the interim government and the army to organize a fair democratic elections. Demonstrators are threatening to boycott the polls.

Salah, in September, vowed that the army would not intervene in the process, threatening anyone who jeopardizes the election process.