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Algeria opposition agree road map for Bouteflika exit

Algeria's opposition have prepared a road map to end the crisis [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 March, 2019

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Algerian's opposition say they have a plan to end the country's political crisis.

Algeria's opposition said on Saturday they have prepared a roadmap that would end a political crisis in the country, which has seen huge anti-government protests across the country.

The unrest has centred on veteran President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid to run for a fifth term as leader in 18 April elections, leading to an outcry against his continued rule.

The 82-year-old is wheelchair bound and has rarely appeared in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, but pledged earlier this month to pull out of the race.

Anger erupted again when he announced that elections would be delayed until later this year, meaning he will stay in power until polls are held.

Proposals agreed between opposition parties and unions call for a six-month transition period from the date when Bouteflika's current mandate expires on 28 April.

It would see the formation of a "presidential body" that would run the country during the transition period, which would include "national figures known for their credibility, integrity and competence".

They would not be allowed to run in future presidential elections nor back any candidates in the poll, according to a statement seen by AFP.

Among those who attended the meeting was the party of Bouteflika's key rival Ali Benflis, a former prime minister who has joined the opposition, and the main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace.

However, the protest movement has largely been led by students and youth rather than Algeria's opposition party.

Hundreds of thousands of Algerians demonstrated nationwide for a fifth consecutive Friday, demanding that Bouteflika stand down and calling for regime change.

On Saturday, a thousand lawyers rallied in the capital Algiers chanting "we're fed up" with this government and calling on the political system to "go away".

 

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