"No military state", "No to elections" of July 4, have chanted the protesters.
Thousands of Algerians gathered Friday [May 17th] in central Algiers for a 13th Friday of protests in the country, where the fast month of Ramadan did not begin mobilization. Police deployed in large numbers in Algiers and banned, including vehicles and police with shields, access to the forecourt and the steps of the Grande Poste, a symbolic place for the demonstrators.
"Shame on you policemen", shouted protesters, according to an AFP journalist, in a tense atmosphere, marked by some jostling. According to news websites and netizens on social networks, the police sprayed tear gas at midday to drive away protesters trying to force the passage.
Filtering dams were also installed by the police on some roads leading to Algiers, told AFP Ali, trader from Bordj Menael, 60 km east of the capital. A similar device has been put in place at the entrances of Bordj Bou Arreridj, a locality that has been particularly active since the beginning of the February 22 movement, 150 km southeast of the capital, according to Algerian media reports.
"No to elections" scheduled for July 4 to elect a successor to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, can we read on some placards. After 20 years at the head of Algeria, the former head of state was forced to resign on 2 April under the combined pressures of the unprecedented protest movement and the army. The protesters also clamor for a "civil status".
"No military state", they hammered as the army returned to the center of the political game, after having decisively contributed to the departure of President Bouteflika, making de facto of his chief of staff, the general Ahmed Gaïd Salah, the strongman of the country.