FRI 17 - 1 - 2020
Dec 2, 2019
The Daily Star
Pro-vote Algerians march against 'foreign interference'
Agence France Presse
ALGIERS: Several hundred Algerians marched Saturday in support of a presidential election rejected by a mass protest movement that has rocked the North African country since February.
The march was organised by the UGTA trades union group which is close to the National Liberation Front of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who quit in April under pressure from the street.
The UGTA supported Bouteflika during his 20 years at the helm in Algeria.
Pro-regime "spontaneous" rallies have been held across the country as the December 12 polling day nears, but Saturday's was the first staged by a group close to the regime.
"No to foreign interference!" read one placard in response to a European Parliament resolution on Thursday.
The resolution condemned "the arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detainment of, attacks on and intimidations of journalists, trade unionists, lawyers, students, human rights defenders and civil society and all peaceful protesters" in Algeria.
Algiers denounced what it called "flagrant interference in its internal affairs" and a "disregard" for its institutions.
Marchers on Saturday also voiced their support for the military, whose chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah has been Algeria's de facto ruler since Bouteflika stepped down.
"The December 12 vote will go ahead," demonstrators chanted as they also railed against former colonial power France, telling its "children" -- anti-vote protesters -- to "get out".
Despite protests being banned in the capital since 2001, police escorted the marchers and arrested several onlookers who shouted anti-poll slogans or insulted demonstrators.
The authorities have tolerated massive weekly demonstrations that been kept up despite Bouteflika's departure, but they have also begun to disperse protesters in Algiers in recent weeks.
Anti-vote protesters fear the poll will cement in power politicians close to Bouteflika. The five candidates standing all either supported him or took part in his government.
Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment
Enter the security code below
Can't read this?
Algeria frees prominent war veteran
Algeria appoints new government amid worst political crisis in decades
Algeria names Abdelaziz Djerad as its new prime minister
Algerians protest against new president, reject his offer of dialogue
Algerians protest in thousands to reject Tebboune talks
Algeria: Sports win to economic success
The Arab Spring Is Not Returning to Algeria and Morocco
Algeria’s moment of truth; time for change or a bluff?
The military have made their move in Algeria and Sudan – but is there something the generals have missed?
Could Algeria's protests set off Arab Spring 2.0?
Copyright 2020 . All rights reserved