Thousands protest against ruling elite in Algeria

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Demonstrators hold flags and banners demanding the departure of Algeria's ruling elite, a month after the downfall of President Abdelaziz Bouteflik, during an anti-government protest in Algiers, Algeria, May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
Demonstrators hold flags and banners demanding the departure of Algeria’s ruling elite, a month after the downfall of President Abdelaziz Bouteflik, during an anti-government protest in Algiers, Algeria, May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Protesters in Algeria rallied on for their eleventh week in a row, demanding the departure of Algeria’s ruling elite, a month after the downfall of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

They held up banners written “You must go”, “Thieves you have destroyed the country” and “Algeria, free and democratic”, while chanting “We will not shut up!”

Protesters are calling for the resignation of the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, who is serving for 90 days until an election on July 4.

They are also calling on Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down, to resign.

Weeks of demonstrations forced Bouteflika out of office on April 2 after 20 years in power, but his exit failed to satisfy demonstrators who want to sweep away the remnants of his ruling elite and make sure the old guard cannot hand-pick a new president.

A number of figures from the ruling elite, including the finance minister, former prime minister and several rich businessmen have come under investigation in recent weeks.

Last week the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah – who helped push out Bouteflika after having him declared unfit for office – said several big corruption cases would come to light in a crackdown on graft.

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