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Algerians protest demanding the departure of Bouteflika allies

Students stage a demonstration demanding the departure of all government officials affiliated with former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Algiers, Algeria on 16 April 2019 [ Farouk Batiche - Anadolu Agency]
Students stage a demonstration demanding the departure of all government officials affiliated with former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Algiers, Algeria on 16 April 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Hundreds of thousands of Algerians on Friday staged demonstrations in capital Algiers to demand the departure of all officials affiliated with the regime of ousted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned early this month after two decades in power, Anadolu reports.

On Friday morning, hundreds of protesters converged on the capital’s Al-Barid Square for the ninth week in a row, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent at the scene.

After Friday prayers, hundreds of thousands marched through the streets of the capital and other cities across the country.

For the first time on Friday, Algerian youth wearing orange vests appeared at the demonstrations with the stated aim of preventing friction between protesters and security forces.

Following Bouteflika’s resignation early this month, Parliament Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah was sworn in as interim leader vowing to hold “free and transparent” presidential elections within three months.

READ: Algeria opposition announces plan to boycott elections

The Algerian army is now overseeing a 90-day transitional period during which presidential polls will be held, according to Algeria’s constitution.

Notably, demonstrators on Friday demanded the departure of all Bouteflika-era officials, including Bensalah.

They also rejected the interim president’s calls for a “consultative meeting” to discuss the crisis.

On Thursday, Bensalah invited political parties, figures and groups to take part in a “collective consultative meeting” on Monday — an invitation rejected by most opposition parties.

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