Paris, France – For the seventh consecutive Sunday, Algerians in Paris continued to protest against the existing government in Algeria.
News of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika submitting his resignation earlier this week was cause for celebration, but protesters are determined to continue their mass rallies until the system that succeeded in propping him up for two decades is gone.
Thousands of protesters gathered at the Place de la Republique, where a joyous atmosphere gripped people from all walks of life, young and old.
Food stalls, singing, and dancing was accompanied by speeches. Nearby, a group of students dressed all in black took part in an artistic protest, displaying signs on their shirts of what freedom meant to them.
“I feel like I am at a wedding celebration for democracy,” Said Baroudi, a 55-year-old protester, told Al Jazeera.
“Now we are at the difficult stage of removing the remaining elitists in power.”
Algeria’s constitution stipulates that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, should take the presidential reins for no more than three months, during which a presidential election must be organized.
But the 77-year-old is widely unpopular as a key Bouteflika ally and longtime member of his government.
“The popular movement gives us safety, credibility, and courage to move on to the next stage, where politicians and civil society must sit down and talk,” Baroudi said.
“We must follow the constitutional way in order to achieve justice and democracy.”