Algeria’s president Abdelaziz Bouteflika said new presidential elections would be held “before the end of 2019”, suggesting he may stay in office for another year. The statement caused a new wave of the protests across Algeria as allies turn on the national leader, Reuters reported.
Thousands of demonstrators are still protesting against president Bouteflika’s staying at the office. The banners of Algerian protesters say “You pretend to understand us, we will pretend to listen to you,” meaning recent president’s promise to step down.
The new round of demonstrations held aloft by the mostly young demonstrators who demand a future without Bouteflika. The thousands of angry people have gathered in the centre of the Algerian capital for a fourth consecutive Friday demanding that Abdelaziz Bouteflika leave his office. In fact, on Monday, the 82-year-old national leader has calmed anger on the streets with his unexpected announcement that he would not seek re-election but was cancelling an April presidential poll.
In reality, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has guaranteed himself staying at the office until the end of 2019. During this week, the president showed he has political allies. Country’s ruling FLN party showed more signs of turning its back on Mr Bouteflika, with one senior party figure saying in an interview overnight the long-serving president was “history now”.
However, the military, which has traditionally played a behind-the-scenes power broker role, has distanced itself from a president and stayed in its barracks throughout the crisis. It is expected to retain influence under all scenarios. Meanwhile, Bouteflika has promised a “national conference” to carry out reforms in Algeria.