Algerians march in capital for political change

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Thousands took to the streets in the Algerian capital Algiers on Friday (April 9), to mark the 112th Friday demonstration of Hirak – a protest movement demanding political changes.

“We always went out for the same reasons, to free Algeria, for a better Algeria, to let young people work, for children and youth, for the coming generation, Algeria belongs to them.” Lynda, a protester, told Reuters.

The protest movement, known as ‘Hirak’, brought tens of thousands of people to the streets each week for more than a year until the pandemic hit Algeria in early 2020, forcing them to stop.

The 2019 protests prompted the military to oust veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades in power.

Elected in December 2019, President Abelmadjid Tebboune has vowed to implement political and economic changes in a bid to put an end to the protest movement which demanded the departure of the whole ruling elite.

Tebboune has set June 12 for early legislative elections, after announcing the dissolution of the lower house of parliament last month. The vote is part of political reforms promised by Tebboune.

However, protesters have rejected the upcoming elections. Protester Chawaki told Reuters “nothing has changed, we have a president who belongs to the old regime… nothing has changed so people will keep protesting until we get a state of rights and a civil state, not a state governed by the army.”