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Students in Algeria are demonstrating for the 35th week in a row against the regime

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Hundreds of students demonstrated on Tuesday for the 35th day against the regime, which insists on holding presidential elections scheduled for December 12 as well as demanding the release of detainees.

The students marched quietly from Martyrs Square down the Kasbah neighborhood, where they had gathered since the morning with citizens towards the city center in the Central Post Square, amid surveillance by police who did not intervene to disperse them.

Since the beginning of the protest movement on 22 February, it has been able to prevent former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from running for a fifth term before he is forced to resign on 2 April. Since then, the demands of the demonstrators have shifted to the departure of the rest of the regime’s symbols.

“No elections” and “Bai Bai (bye),” Kaid Saleh Mekach, “No elections this year,” chanted the demonstrators, referring to army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Kayed Saleh, the country’s strongman since Bouteflika’s departure.

In addition to Qaid Saleh, the protesters demanded the departure of President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Badawi, refusing to oversee the presidential elections at the end of the year.

“It is the people who decide their fate,” said Hassan, a retired civil servant. “The people who demonstrate every week and all over the country have decided that these elections are rejected because they do not solve their problems.”

“These elections will perpetuate the regime’s survival while we demand its departure.”

“How do we elect our brothers in prison because of their participation in a demonstration or because they raised the Amazigh flag,” said Gilas, a law student.

The National Committee for the release of detainees counted about 100 “political prisoners” who have been arrested since 21 June.

Protesters also condemned the new hydrocarbons law, which they said “sells Algeria’s wealth cheaply,” especially for a country whose economy relies on 95 percent of its oil and gas exports.

They chanted “the fuel law, to the dustbin” and “the gang decides and the parliament passes” where it is expected to be presented to the deputies for discussion in the coming days, after being approved by the Council of Ministers.

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