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ALGERIA: Demonstrations calling for cancellation of presidential election results enter 40th week

ALGERIA: Demonstrations calling for cancellation of presidential election results enter 40th week

Wild protests continue in Algiers, the capital of Algeria and other cities across the country for the 40th consecutive week as demonstrators continue to demand the cancellation of December 12 elections.

Chanting slogans against the army high command and its chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, the protesters dressed in Algeria’s tricolour flag insist that all members of the old guard, including interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, former associates of Bouteflika, be removed.

Activists in recent days also called on people to take part in night-time protests to reject the vote, which they said will allow the current system to remain in place with a few “cosmetic” changes.

“Algerians are rejecting December’s election because they see it as an attempt to regenerate the system,” said Zine Labidine Ghebouli, an Algerian analyst.

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“This is especially the case considering the repressive measures being taken by the authorities to impose the election,” said Ghebouli, referring to the arrest of several high-profile activists and politicians.

However, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who emerged as a key figure after former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in early April, has maintained that a presidential election is the surest way to break the country’s political deadlock, pointing out that people’s key demands have already been met.

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