The crowd, estimated to number in the tens of thousands, chanted, “The people want to uproot you,” as they rallied on Friday.
Bouteflika announced his resignation on April 2 following months of protests against his rule that erupted over his decision to seek a fifth term. The 82-year-old had been in power for the past 20 years but was reportedly in poor health and had rarely appeared in public after suffering a stroke in 2013, Presstv Reported.
Despite his fall, the protests have continued as many demand the removal of all figures associated with Bouteflika’s regime and the prosecution of those they see as corrupt and still in power.
“We want this system to leave and all the thieves to be judged,” said Zohra, a 55-year-old teacher who took part in the Friday protest.
Earlier this week, five Algerian billionaires, some of them close to Bouteflika, were arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation. The move came after the country’s army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said he expected members of the ruling elite to be prosecuted for corruption.
The arrests have not apparently satisfied the protesters, who have yet to see one of their key demands met: the removals of Abdelkader Bensalah, the speaker of the upper house of the Algerian parliament who was appointed as interim president following the resignation of Bouteflika, and Noureddine Bedoui, a close ally of the ousted president who remains prime minister.
The interim administration that has taken over has pledged to hold presidential elections on July 4, but Algerians say voting cannot be free and fair if it is organized within the same judicial framework and by the same institutions as those that operated under Bouteflika.