Hundreds of thousands march in Algeria to demand fall of Bouteflika regime
9 March 2019
Hundreds of thousands of people joined demonstrations across Algeria on Friday to demand an end to the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the military-backed president who has ruled the country since 1999.
Videos on social media show waves of demonstrators, predominantly youth, filling the streets of the capital, Algiers, the port city of Bejaia, and other towns, chanting “Killer regime,” “The people want the downfall of the regime,” and “Thieves, you have eaten the country!” In the north-eastern port city of Annaba, workers protested for their family members who drowned in the Mediterranean attempting to reach Europe.
Yesterday was the third successive Friday protest since the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) announced on February 10 that it would run Bouteflika in elections this April. The protests have grown larger each week and escalated after Bouteflika’s aides submitted his election nomination forms on Sunday, promising at the same time that he would step down within a year if elected.
The protests are part of a growing radicalization in the working class and escalation of working-class struggles throughout the Maghreb and internationally against social inequality since the beginning of 2019, eight years after the revolutionary upheavals which overthrew the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes.
The 82-year-old president is a political corpse who has been incapable of speaking publicly since 2013, when he suffered a severe stroke. He has been in a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland for nearly two weeks receiving what spokespeople have called “routine” check-ups. The inner circles of his regime are seeking to gain time to select a suitable successor.