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Algerian Interior Minister: Elements of popular movement want to smash him, demolish Algeria

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Algiers, Algeria on 26 January 2020. [Erçin Top - Anadolu Agency]
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Algiers, Algeria on 26 January 2020 [Erçin Top/Anadolu Agency]

On Tuesday 10 March 2020, Algerian Interior Minister Kamal Beldjoud affirmed that elements of the popular movement wanted to “smash him” and “destroy the country” through calls for daily demonstrations instead of weekly marches.

This came in Beldjoud’s statement, which was reported by Algerian official television, during a visit by the minister to Biskra Province (southeast).

Beldjoud said that after his election, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune committed himself to meet the demands of the movement (…) However, recently, some elements (he did not specify them), who are willing and working to destroy the movement’s results, have appeared.

He continued: “They protest on Friday and Tuesday, and today they are talking about other days; why all this?”

“These demonstrators have clear intentions to destroy the country, go back to past years and get into trouble,” he insisted.

The Interior Minister called on “citizens to be vigilant and to support the president.”

On 22 February, the Algerian popular movement entered its second year of demonstrations without interruption, to demand what activists call “the fundamental change of the system and not only its facade.”

READ: Algerians say oil price crash shows need for reform

Since the date mentioned above, the country has become a scene of new demonstrations on Saturday, along with the weekly dates for demonstrations, Friday and Tuesday, since the movement began.

Since his rise to power on 19 December 2019, Tebboune has affirmed that he is in the process of building a “new republic” in which the basis for a profound and consensual constitutional amendment will be established, through a popular referendum, in a way that guarantees the transition to a new era, in addition to undertaking economic reforms to get out of the dependence on oil revenues.

Tebboune describes the popular movement as a healthy phenomenon “unless it deviates into violence or is penetrated from inside or outside.”

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