Algerian protests against President Bouteflika 'biggest yet'


16th March, 2019 02:37:52 printer

Algerian protests against President Bouteflika 'biggest yet'


Thousands have gathered in Algeria's capital to demand the immediate resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika despite him dropping his bid for a fifth term.


The BBC's Mohamed Arezki Himeur in Algiers says it is the biggest protest in memory, with people of all ages packing out the capital's boulevards.


Police have fired tear gas at protesters near the president's office.


On Monday, the president postponed the planned 18 April presidential vote.


Protesters, however, accuse the 82-year-old leader of illegally extending his term.


Students have been leading the massive anti-Bouteflika protests, now in their fifth week. Our reporter says that the latest demonstrations included many families in what has generally been a peaceful and good-natured atmosphere.


The ailing octogenarian rarely appears in public and has not given a public address since having a stroke in 2013. He returned to the country earlier this week after being admitted to hospital in Switzerland.


Half of Algeria's population is under the age of 30. Youth unemployment has spurred anger against the government.


"I want a better future," 10-year-old Mohamed Kemime, draped in Algeria's national flag, told Reuters news agency,


The appointment of new Prime Minister Noueddine Bedoui and plans to form an inclusive government have failed to assuage the protesters.