Moves to limit Algiers protests


Algeria’s army chief ordered buses and cars bringing protesters to the capital stopped and seized, the latest measure aimed at quelling weekly demonstrations demanding a purge of the old ruling elite.

“We instructed the gendarmerie to stop buses and cars used to this end; to seize and impose fines on the owners,” Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Saleh said.

Official tolerance for the protests which forced veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power in April and continued to demand a total overthrow of the ruling elite is waning.

While government made concessions to protesters by detaining and charging senior figures close to Bouteflika with corruption, it also intensified policing at demonstrations and arrested prominent activists.

Last Sunday, interim president Abdelkader Bensalah announced a long-delayed election would be held in December, what the army has been publicly pushing for against the wishes of the protest movement.

Demonstrators this week carried placards and chanted slogans denouncing the move, maintaining no election can be free or fair while Algeria’s ruling old guard remain.