Algerians take to the streets to oppose presidential poll

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Algerians returned to the streets Friday, protesting proposed presidential elections after parliament passed bills that could pave the way for the announcement of a vote to take place in December.

Demonstrations that started in February led to the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April, after 20 years at the helm.

But the movement has continued, with protestors taking to the streets for a 30th consecutive week Friday.

Demonstrators are demanding key regime figures step down and an overhaul of political institutions before any polls, arguing any election under the current framework will only reinforce the status quo.

“Those close to Bouteflika are still in power and an election in these conditions is simply a masquerade”, said engineer Lyes Mesbah, 48.

The army, which has de facto taken the reins of the country, has been calling for speedy elections to replace Bouteflika, with army Chief General Ahmed Gaid.

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