Algerians protesting against the rule of the President Abdelaziz Bouteflika staged huge demonstrations on Friday. The riot police in wake of which, fired tear gas to prevent protests reaching a road leading to the presidential palace, however the protests were mostly peaceful.
According to the local report, more than 200 people were detained by the security forces. Protests began last month after Abdelaziz Bouteflika declared that he would consider fifth term in April.
The President who is currently hospitalized in Switzerland, has ruled the nation for 2 decades. In a letter published by Algeria’s official APS news agency on Thursday, the 82-year-old leader called ” vigilance” against ” domestic and foreign” forces thinking it will hollow the demonstrator’s confidence. Ironically, he also praised the protestors for “peacefully expressing their opinions”.
The march on Friday was one of the largest ever against the President. Apart from the police firing tear gas, helicopters circled Algiers, the nation’s capital and the police was deployed along the protest route.
Such a huge number of protestors was also a result social media campaign, billed as “#March8movement”. It called people to actively participate in Friday’s march, and they positively replied via coming out in huge numbers to support the issue.
Opposition politicians have also been meeting to discuss the protests, according to BBC North Africa correspondent, Rana Jawad. However, she said, the opposition is long weakened by the National Liberation Front (FLN), and is viewed with a certain suspicion by the public.
The demonstrations on Friday, also marked a larger impact because of the holy importance of the day. Further signaling no signs of easing, and only growing until their demand is met. Though there is no immediate successor ready to take charge of the position, the protestors coming out have conveyed that they want to become the change they want to see.