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Hundreds rally in Algiers as protest leaders tell army to stay away

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 22, 2019 - Duration: 00:45s

Hundreds rally in Algiers as protest leaders tell army to stay away

Demonstrations are expected to swell after Friday prayers in Algiers, as has been the case on the four previous Fridays during the wave of demonstrations that kicked off on February 22 against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his 20-year rule.

Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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Hundreds rally in Algiers as protest leaders tell army to stay away

ROUGH CUT.

NO REPORTER NARRATION.

Thousands of Algerians rallied again on Friday (March 22) to demand the immediate resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is fighting for his political survival in the face of relentless protests and the desertion of long-time allies.

Defying heavy rain, the protesters brandished Algerian flags and pamphlets as they gathered in the same spot in the capital where a wave of demonstrations first erupted a month ago against Bouteflika's 20-year rule.

Bouteflika, 82, rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term and promising an inclusive politics in Algeria, a major oil and gas producer.

But he stopped short of quitting and said he would stay on until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his present term.

The move further enraged Algerians, and many of Bouteflika's allies, from ruling party members to trade union leaders to tycoons, turned against him.

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