Thousands demonstrated The Algerians In the capital of their country, Friday, March 12, 2021, in rejection of the early legislative elections, which have been scheduled for next June 12, a day after President Abdul Majeed Tebboune signed Decree on holding elections.
Agence France-Presse said that a crowd of demonstrators from Didouche Mourad Street, the main artery in the center of the capital, headed towards the main post office, which has become a symbolic gathering point for the demonstrators, and then other crowds joined it.
One of the protesters, a merchant named Muhammad, said, “The same system is still in place. We will not vote on June 12,” he said.
These protests also came as a resumption of the movement that takes place in weekly demonstrations every Friday, since the second anniversary of the popular movement, on February 22, and their movements were stopped due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country.
While public gatherings remained prohibited due to the Corona crisis, protesters also demonstrated in the cities of Oran (west), Tizi Ouzou, Skikda, Jijel and Annaba (east), while the National Committee for the Release of Detainees indicated that arrests were recorded during the demonstrations.
The committee also noted that many journalists and Hirak activists have been subjected to violent attacks by a group of “thugs”, and other journalists have been attacked by demonstrators.
This is not the first time that the demonstrators have expressed hostility towards journalists accused of being biased in favor of the regime. Some also accuse journalists working in French media outlets of being representatives of a state considered an ally of the authority.
Algerian President Tebboune considered that the decision to dissolve the National People’s Assembly and hold early elections came in response to the protest movement’s demands.
Despite weak participation in a referendum held last year, Algerian voters voted in favor of amendments to the constitution, giving more powers to the prime minister and parliament.
Bouteflika’s allies were also overwhelmingly in the dissolved parliament, which was elected in May 2017 for a five-year term.
The popular movement had pushed former President Bouteflika to resign on April 2, 2019, while Tebboune assumed the presidency after winning the first presidential elections in December of the same year.
Tebboune, who was elected in December 2019, pledged to make political and economic changes in an effort to end the protest movement calling for the departure of the entire ruling elite.
Moreover, Tebboune last month ordered the release of 59 detainees from the protest movement known as the Popular Movement, in an attempt to stop the protests that first erupted on February 22, 2019, but the protests resumed three weeks ago.