Protesters took to the street across Algeria on Friday despite the resignation of 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Many protesters still want wholesale changes to the current political order.
Citizens across Algeria say that they will continue to protest for political reforms despite former Presient Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepping down from power last week.
Before the departure of Bouteflika, the ailing president appointed Noureddine Badawi as the country’s new prime minister. However, this move was rejected by the protesters who said that they do not want to see any remnants of the old regime in power. Furthermore, the second highest-ranking figure in the country after Badawi is under a lot of scrutiny, and thus his fate has also become uncertain.
While the current government is trying to absorb protestors’ anger, opposition parties and citizens alike say that the government needs to adopt measures to fight corruption within the country. Amongst the reforms that protesters want is the removal of the entire political class that has been empowered by the Bouteflika regime, which has ruled for at least 20 years.
“We want radical change,“ said Noureddine Dimi, a bank employee. “No need for temporary solutions.”
While the Algerian Government has shown that it will respond to protester’s demands if pressured, the dismantling of the current political class is a much harder task to undertake.
However, protesters say that they will continue their activism until all of their demands are met.
While the future of the country is still unclear due to the issues previously mentioned, many activists are hopeful that their demands will be met and a peaceful transition of power will occur following the elections. Furthermore, they hope that the new government will hold corrupt officials accountable.
“Algeria can only recover by combating the culture of opportunism, bribery, deceit, and treachery. In addition to building a free Algerian society based on accountability, which can be achieved only by free and fair election,” said Abderazzak Makri, the president of the Movement of the Algerian Peace Society (MSP), an opposition party in the country.
Until these demands are met, Algerians say they will continue to protest every Friday, to liberate the country from corruption and lack of accountability.