ALGIERS – Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators returned to Algeria’s streets on Friday to press demands for sweeping democratic change well beyond former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation, chanting “we do what we want”, witnesses said.
Protesters shout as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators return to the streets to press demands for wholesale democratic change well beyond former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation, in Algiers,
The march was peaceful, like most of the demonstrations in the country over the last two months.
But an 18-year old who was injured during last week’s protest in Algiers, when clashes broke out, died on Friday of injuries to the head, Ennahar TV said. It said police were investigating the death, adding that he could have been beaten or fallen from a truck.
Parliament named an interim president and a July 4 election date was set in a transition endorsed by Algeria’s powerful military. But Bouteflika’s exit on April 2 failed to satisfy many Algerians who want to topple the entire elite that has dominated the country since independence from France in 1962.
Protesters gathered anew in city centers around Algeria demanding root-and-branch reforms – including political pluralism and crackdowns on corruption and cronyism, witnesses said. Numbers later surged after Friday prayers.
There was no official count but Reuters reporters at the scene estimated the number of demonstrators in the hundreds of thousands as on previous Fridays since the extraordinary mass dissent erupted on Feb. 22.“We will not give up our demands,” said Mourad Hamini, standing outside his coffee shop, where thousands of protesters were waving Algerian flags.
The crowd later chanted: “This is our country and we do what we want!”