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Hundreds of Algerian Lawyers Hold Anti-Bouteflika Protest

Hundreds of Algerian Lawyers Hold Anti-Bouteflika Protest

Saturday, 23 March, 2019 - 12:00
FILE PHOTO: People carry national flags and banners during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers, Algeria March 19, 2019.
Asharq Al-Awsat
Hundreds of Algerian lawyers protested again on Saturday in the capital to demand the immediate resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

They gathered in Algiers' center, the scene of mass protests for one month, holding up slogans that read: "Respect the will of the people" and "Yes to a judiciary free from corrupt dignitaries."

Algerians first took to the streets a month ago to protest against a plan by Bouteflika, who has been in power for 20 years, to seek a fifth mandate.

The 82-year old has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

He bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to seek re-election. But he stopped short of quitting as head of state and said he would stay on until a new constitution is adopted. The move further enraged Algerians, and many of Bouteflika's allies have turned against him.

Some members of the ruling National Liberation Front party, known by its French acronym FLN, have also sided with the demonstrators.

The powerful military has been watching the protests unfold.

Despite bad weather, people marched on Friday for several kilometers through one of the main streets of the capital for more than four hours to rally at the Grand Post Office in the city center.

Security forces said "hundreds of thousands" of protesters gathered in central Algiers and that demonstrations were also held in 42 out of the country's 48 provinces.

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