Thousands of Algerians took part in renewed protests in the capital and other cities on Tuesday, calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down and rejecting his offer to not serve a full term after elections in April.
Young Algerians, who are at the forefront of the protests want a new generation of leaders and have few attachments to the old guard.
After a decade-long Islamist insurgency that Bouteflika crushed early in his rule, Algerians generally tolerated a political system that left little room for dissent as a price to pay for relative peace and stability.
But Algeria’s mostly young population, almost 70 percent of whom are aged below 30, are agitating for jobs, better services and an end to rampant corruption in a country that is one of Africa‘s largest oil producers.
Thousands of people have rallied in cities around Algeria in the largest protests since the 2011 Arab Spring, calling on Bouteflika, 82, not to submit election papers for the April 18 election. The papers were however filed by his campaign manager on Sunday.
Bouteflika who has been in power for 20 years, has not spoken in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.