Protests rage on despite Bouteflika's vow to quit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:50 AM, April 03, 2019


Protests rage on despite Bouteflika's vow to quit

Hundreds of students hit the streets of the Algerian capital yesterday dismissing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's promise to resign as a diversion and demanding an overhaul of the country's political system.

The announcement on Bouteflika's resignation "doesn't change anything", psychology student Meriem Medjdoub said as she marched in central Algiers with around 1,000 protesters.

"We are demanding a radical change," she told AFP.

The ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika has been clinging to power despite weeks of protests that first erupted in February when he said we would seek a fifth term in power.

On Monday his office said the president, who has rarely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke, will resign "before April 28" -- the date marking the end of his current mandate.

The announcement came after a succession of loyalists deserted him in the face of the massive protests rocking Algeria.

It was greeted by the beeping of some car horns in Algiers on Monday, but there was little sign of euphoria as people insisted that the whole ruling establishment must go.

Students on the streets of Algiers voiced doubts and concerns.

“It is a diversion... they are trying to gain time," said Imen Zaaf.

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