The resignation of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of peaceful demonstrations has left a sense of pride and accomplishment among many Algerian students at the American University in Dubai.
“I think this proves how strong the people’s voices are and how being a democratic country gives the people a chance to change,” Mohamed Dif, 21, architecture student at AUD, told the MBRSC Post. “As an Algerian, I am proud of how peaceful the protest movement is.”
The country’s constitutional council ratified the resignation on April 3, formally ending two decades of Bouteflika’s rule, and instating Senate Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah as interim leader for 90 days until the next elections.
“Millions of people across Algeria protested and there were no accidents, no vandalism, minor injuries; it was the most peaceful protest in the last 20 years,” Saber Noubli, 24, Algerian mechanical engineering student at AUD, told the MBRSC Post.
“I think the peacefulness of the demonstrations are a very good example of the Algerian culture and population,” Mohamed Nassim Haddoud, 23, Algerian finance student at AUD, told the MBRSC Post.
Though the demonstrators achieved one of their goals, they have continued to take to the streets to fight for economic growth, against corruption, and a regime change by demanding the removal of Bouteflika’s inner circle who are still in power.
The demonstrations began after Bouteflika announced his candidacy for a fifth presidential term in February. The opposition deemed Bouteflika “unfit” after a stroke in 2013. He had not addressed the public since then.