Rabat – The people of algeria again came out in large numbers as part of the national Hirak Movement demanding democratic change. For the third Friday in a row since protests reemerged on February 22, Algerians are expressing their displeasure with a lack of economic opportunities, democratic governance, and declining living standards.
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the date for legislative elections on Thursday, yet Algerians continued to call for more structural change. In the capital Algiers protests featured large signs that called for change. “No to political Islamism, no to military dictatorship,” a large sign stated.
Algeria’s Hirak (“movement”) protests are expressing lingering displeasure with a political system many see as unresponsive and undemocratic.
After a year dominated by COVID-19 measures, Hirak protests once again emerged after the one?? year anniversary on February 22 . While protests had disappeared amid the COVID-19 crisis, the demands of Algerians remained unchanged.
Algeria’s government has attempted to address concerns by announcing new elections and a cabinet reshuffle. President Tebboune himself has repeatedly painted himself a champion of Algeria’s Hirak Movement, crediting it as the foundation for its new constitution.
The referendum for Algeria’s constitution appears to contradict this assertion however, as a large majority of Algerians chose to boycott the referendum altogether.
On Friday, Hirak protesters in Algeria continued to chant anti-government slogans, demanding no less than a total overhaul of the country’s institutions. Many ridiculed the upcoming legislative elections as a democratic facade that has impressed few.
The renewed Hirak protests directly defy national COVID-19 measures and a heavy police presence on the streets of Algeria aimed to dissuade potential demonstrators. Algeria’s disaffected citizens did not appear impressed as tens of thousands continue to call for fundamental change and the end to the country’s opaque governing elite.