Hundreds of Algerians protest against proposed energy law

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FILE: Picture of demonstrators carrying a national flag during a protest (Reuters)
FILE: Picture of demonstrators carrying a national flag during a protest (Reuters)

Hundreds of Algerians on Sunday staged a sit-in in front of the parliament in the Algerian capital of Algiers to protest the draft amendments to the hydrocarbon law.

Chanting “down with the hydrocarbon law”, “no vote with the gangs” and “the people want to bring down the Parliament,” the protesters marched around the parliament, causing traffic jams.

Riot forces were deployed around the parliament to keep the protesters away from the building.

The demonstrators said they were trying to deter the parliament from approving the draft law, noting that any new draft law or key decision in any field should be taken by a new elected President.

The Algerian presidential elections are scheduled for Dec. 12, with more than 130 potential candidates, after former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign in early April amid wide-scale protests since Feb. 22.

Last week, the government said the draft amendment on hydrocarbon law came in response to “domestic and international developments in the field of hydrocarbons, mostly as the original law issued in 2005 and amended in 2012 proved to be limited in terms of developing production process and attracting foreign investments.”

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