Hungry for change, Algerians press old guard to step aside

13 March 2019

In Algeria on Tuesday, thousands demonstrated demanding immediate political changes. Crowds who came back onto the streets on Tuesday demanded quicker action, reflecting suspicions that the old guard, adept at manipulating opposition groups, might be seeking to weaken and divide the protest movement.

President Abelaziz Bouteflika bowed to weeks of mass demonstrations against his 20-year-old rule on Monday and promised a transition to new leadership. But he postponed an election set for April, meaning he will likely remain in power for some time. Algerians have become disenchanted with Bouteflika and other veterans of the 1954-1962 war of independence against France who have dominated a country with high unemployment, poor services and rampant corruption despite its oil and gas. More than a quarter of Algerians under 30 are unemployed.