Hirak protesters in Algiers reject upcoming elections

Rabat – Hirak protesters took to the streets again with many protesters expressing skepticism about the upcoming legislative elections.

Thousands of Hirak protesters chanted slogans on Friday March 26 as they passed through central Algiers to demonstrate against the Algerian ruling elite. “A civil state, without military influence,” read signs as demonstrators crossed rue Asselah-Hocine in the heart of the country’s capital.

The demonstrators gathered again in the working-class neighborhood of Bab El-Oued before marching through the city center. Algeria’s national colors were on full display as flags and placards carried by protesters denounced the country’s ruling elite commonly referred to as “power.”

Riot police trucks had been lined up along the sidewalk in an attempt to prevent photographers from recording the massive outpouring of discontent. Yet after 110 days of Hirak protests, which usually take place on Friday, the Algerian press has become adept at finding places to photograph the massive protests.

Protesters carried placards calling for an end to the country’s ruling elite, while many protesters expressed skepticism about the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune dissolved parliament in February amid a wave of actions aimed at appeasing re-emerging Hirak protests. Tebboune announced on March 11 that the country would hold new parliamentary elections on June 12.

Algeria’s unpopular president tried to present himself as a champion of the Hirak protests and credited the movement for the constitutional reforms that were approved in a widely boycotted referendum in November 2020. Public skepticism about the referendum seems to reflect opinions regarding the next poll to decide on a new parliament.

“The demonstrators have once again proved that they know how to overcome their differences and unite for the same goal,” a protester told the Algerian newspaper Liberté Algérie. He described Hirak’s goal as “a break with a moribund, inefficient and inoperative system.”

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