Algerian lawyers march to demand Bouteflika's departure

Algerian lawyers march to demand Bouteflika's departure
Demonstrators are silhouetted against a national Algerian flag as they stage a protest on the Republique Plaza to press for an end to the 20-year-rule of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in Paris, France, Sunday, March 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Hundreds of lawyers in Algeria marched in the country’s capital, Algiers, to demand the departure of ailing 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the end of his term scheduled on April 28.

Similar demonstrations were planned Saturday in the country’s other big cities.

Lawyers chanted anti-government slogans as they were heading toward a central plaza in Algiers, where they sang the national anthem.

The march comes a day after thousands of people demonstrated for the fifth straight Friday since nationwide anti-Bouteflika protests began on Feb. 22. Protests were also held in Paris.

Last week, Bouteflika indefinitely postponed April’s national election and overhauled the government.

While he abandoned his bid for a fifth term in office, critics fear that he intends to hold onto power indefinitely. He has been president since 1999.