Algerian president frees over 3,000 prisoners to appease protesters

Nii Ntreh February 05, 2020
Protests have been ongoing for about a year with protesters calling for radical political change. Photo Credit: The Independent

Algeria is releasing over 3,000 prisoners in President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s attempts to restore some confidence in his administration after months of political unrest.

President Tebboune’s amnesty goes to individuals serving sentences six months or less, the bulk of who were arrested during the protests of last year.

According to Tebboune, a constitutional amendments referendum is also in the pipeline. He said he intends to have the public decide on the scope of the parliament’s roles.

The president who was elected in December has been opposed by a movement of protesters who say they prefer a radical change in the establishment.

Protesters have been protesting every Friday.

The protests have their origins from a year ago following former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s announcement in February 2019 that he would run for a fifth term.

Bouteflika had been president for four terms since 1999 but he was forced to abandon plans on a fifth term after nationwide protests took the fiercest turn.

Since his resignation in April 2019, protesters have gone further calling for a revolution.

President Tebboune was a loyalist of Bouteflika. He was also a civil servant who rose through the ranks to become a prime minister.

But Tebboune’s appointment as prime minister in 2017 was good for just seven months after falling out with leading business figures. He then went on to head the housing and information ministries.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: February 5, 2020


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