Algeria: Police ‘fire rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters’ in biggest demonstration yet

Algeria: Police ‘fire rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters’ in biggest demonstration yet

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ALGIERS: Police have started firing rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in Algiers, according to a Reuters witness at the scene.

About one million demonstrators gathered on Friday to call for the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, said police, making it the biggest demonstrations since unrest erupted six weeks ago.

State television showed protests in other cities as well.

Earlier this week, the military and leaders of the coalition government called for the removal of the ailing president to end the political crisis.

However, protesters don’t just want Bouteflika’s removal but an entire wipeout of the regime.

“We have only one word to say today, all the gang must go immediately, game over,” said Ali, a merchant, as other protesters shouted, “the people want the fall of the regime”.

The army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, asked the constitutional council on Tuesday to rule whether the 82-year-old was fit for office in a move that further isolates Bouteflika.

Under the constitution, the chairman of parliament’s upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah, would serve as caretaker president for at least 45 days after Bouteflika’s departure. But even if Bouteflika quits, there is no clear long-term successor.

Protesters say they don’t want a replacement to Bouteflika but to replace the entire regime with a new generation of leaders capable of modernising the oil-dependent state.__EuroNews

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