Protesters shout slogans during a protest to demand the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Thursday. Ramzi Boudina/ Reuters
ALGIERS: Thousands of protesters gathered in central Algiers on Friday, piling pressure on President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to resign days after the country's powerful military called for his removal.
The army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, on Tuesday asked the constitutional council to rule whether the ailing 82-year-old president is fit for office.
Bouteflika, facing the biggest crisis of his 20-year-old rule, has failed to placate Algerians by reversing a decision to seek a fifth term.
“Streets pressure will continue until the system goes,” said student Mohamed Djemai, 25.
Protesters have ambitious demands. They want to overthrow an entire political system and replace it with a new generation of leaders capable of modernising the oil-dependent state and giving hope to a population impatient for a better life.
Algeria’s magistrates, who play a key role overseeing the country’s elections, said on Saturday they would boycott a July 4 presidential election in support of the protest movement.
Hundreds of Algerians rallied on Wednesday outside the offices of the country’s biggest union, calling for its chief to quit over his ties to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
A black-and-white banner declaring a strike replaced the usually illuminated billboard over Gaza City's central Omar al-Mukhtar street.
The initiative was launched following a video that went viral on social media of children being bullied by their fellow colleagues on a school bus.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty is expected to formally collapse on August 2 after both Russia and the US pulled out, dealing a blow to international arms control efforts.