He hasn’t been able to talk to his people for the last six years, let alone govern,” Ghanem
tells CNN. “(These protests) are about getting back their dignity.”For years the country has faced rising
unemployment and a debilitating financial crisis as a result of a collapse in oil revenues, which has often led to prot
ests. But Ghanem argues these demonstrations should not be viewed in the same way.
”We are seeing a unique sequence of events we haven’t seen since the 90s. These prote
sts remind me of the protests that my mother used to drag me to when I was young,” she explains.
In the last several weeks, Ghanem says she joined several marches and while they may
have started as student-led demonstrations, she saw a broad cross-section of the population — some of who
m have never been politically active before — in the streets with a clear demand: No fifth term for Bouteflika.
As time has gone on, activists have added calls for the elections to be scrap
ped altogether, and for a more drastic overhaul of the country’s government.
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