Abdelaziz Bouteflika , Algerian, Algeria,

Algerian war veterans said that protesters demanding ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika step down after 20 years in power had legitimate concerns and they urged all citizens to demonstrate – another sign of cracks in the ruling elite.

The ongoing unrest poses the biggest challenge yet to the Bouteflika and his inner circle which includes members of the military and intelligence services and businessmen.

“It is the duty of Algerian society in all its segments to take to the streets,” the influential National Organisation of Mujahideen – veterans who fought alongside Bouteflika in the 1954-1962 war of independence against France – said late on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of people have rallied in cities around Algeria in the largest protests since the 2011 “Arab Spring”, calling on Bouteflika, 82, not to stand in an election scheduled for April 18. He submitted papers on Sunday.

Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gaed Salah reiterated on Wednesday that the military would not allow a breakdown in security.

“We are committed to providing safe conditions that ensure that Algerians fulfil their electoral duties,” the private Ennahar television statement quoted him as saying.

After renewed protests on Tuesday, Algeria was largely quiet on Wednesday apart from one demonstration in the town of Bejaia.

Some officials from Bouteflika’s ruling FLN party have turned up at demonstrations. Several public figures have announced their resignations in a country where personnel changes normally take place behind closed doors.

An anonymous call for a general strike has gone largely unheeded but the leadership faces another test – an online call for a “March of 20 Million” this Friday.

Older Algerians still haunted by the civil war in the 1990s have tolerated crackdowns on dissent in exchange for stability. But young protesters have no real connection to the war of independence that gives Algeria’s elderly leaders their credentials and, desperate for jobs, have lost patience.

Readers Who Read This Story Also Read

Time For Bouteflika to Go – National Rally For Democracy Says
views 33
An influential Algerian party that was a long-time supporter of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has criticized the ailing president for seeking to sta...
Protest Leaders Tell Algerian Army to Stay Away, Russia Warns of Attempts to Destabilise Situation
views 54
Hundreds of students and doctors rallied in Algiers on Tuesday calling for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, as a new group headed by...

Protesters have praised the military, which has stayed in barracks throughout the unrest. But analysts and former officials say the generals are likely to intervene if the protests lead to widespread instability in the country, one of Africa’s biggest oil producers.

The 82-year Bouteflika, in office since 1999, said on Sunday he would run in the April 18 poll but call early elections to find a successor after holding a national conference to discuss reforms and a new constitution.

He has not spoken in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. He remains at a hospital in Geneva for medical checks.

In Paris, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that France was watching the situation in its former colony closely but it was for Algerians to decide their future.

We have to let the electoral process develop and France,

given our historical links, is very attentive,” Le Drian told lawmakers.

With more than 4 million people of Algerian origin in France, any upheaval across the Mediterranean would have a serious impact there. French officials fear an influx of refugees as well as a potential security crisis.

  • Reuters

Subscribe to Politics Breaking News

  • Stay up to date on news for: Algeria War Veterans Want Abdelaziz Bouteflika Out Of Power
  • Get all the essential breaking news with expert analysis

Subscribe today

Readers Who Read This Story Also Read

Time For Bouteflika to Go – National Rally For Democracy Says
views 33
An influential Algerian party that was a long-time supporter of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has criticized the ailing president for seeking to sta...
Protest Leaders Tell Algerian Army to Stay Away, Russia Warns of Attempts to Destabilise Situation
views 54
Hundreds of students and doctors rallied in Algiers on Tuesday calling for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, as a new group headed by...

Find More News By Categories:

Support The Politicoscope

* We empower the voiceless. We offer them a free Politicoscope platform to express themselves globally.
* We expose the dark secrets of people in power: corrupt politicians, abusive police officers, and more.
* We provide you with free news content all year; all the time.

Together, we can promote a global human parity. Take action today. Donate to Politicoscope. Thank you.

* Politicoscope journalists are independent, non-partisan, impartial and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders.

Share Your Thoughts Now