An estimated one million demonstrators took to the streets of the Algerian capital of Algiers on Friday, demanding the country’s 83-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's step down in a sixth consecutive week of protests.
“We are fed up with those in power,” the masses chanted. “We want a new government.”
Moreover, the crowds also chanted their insistence that the entire generation of Algerian political leaders lined up to potentially succeed. Algerian police reportedly fired tear gas at swaths of gatherers on the way to the presidential palace.
The tensions were ignited earlier this year following Bouteflika's announcement that he would be seeking a fifth presidential term after his rule ends in April. He has since reportedly said he'd compromise, indicating that if he's elected he'll leave office early. When protests continued he said he would pull out of the race altogether. But the scheduled voting day of April 18 was suddenly canceled, with no further date established.
Earlier this week, military top brass and Deputy Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah made the bold move of joining the anti-government sentiment and calling for the country’s leader to resign. However, skeptical opposition leaders have since expressed concern that adequate steps still aren’t in place for free and fair elections.