In Summary
  • Demonstrators gathered for hours in central Algiers before dispersing late afternoon.

  • Students also took to the streets of major cities Oran and Constantine, where they were joined by professors.
  • Several newspapers have also accused Bouteflika of deceiving the people.

Algiers,

Thousands of protesters returned to Algeria's streets Tuesday after jubilation over President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's vow not to seek re-election gave way to fears of a plot to prolong his two-decade rule.

In a surprise announcement Monday, the ailing 82-year-old said he would not stand for a fifth term -- but also cancelled next month's presidential election.

After initial celebration, thousands of students along with some lecturers held a new protest in the capital Tuesday, accusing Bouteflika of "tricks".

"The students are resisting the extension of the fourth mandate," they chanted in an Algiers square that has been the epicentre of protests demanding Bouteflika resign.

"It's a ploy to win time... in order to put in place another puppet like the (current) president," said a student who gave her name as Amel.

Ghania Bellal, a journalism student, said Bouteflika "is mocking us".

"Right from the start he wanted to extend his term," she said. "He got what he wanted... illegally."

EXTRA TIME

Protesters held up signs saying: "No extra time. This is not a football match."

Demonstrators gathered for hours in central Algiers before dispersing late afternoon.

Students also took to the streets of major cities Oran and Constantine, where they were joined by professors, journalists said.

The president announced on Monday that a "national conference" would set a new date for polls that he would not contest.

"There will not be a fifth term" and "there will be no presidential election on April 18," he said in a message reported by the official APS news agency.

The veteran leader, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely appeared in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, said he was responding to "a pressing demand that you have been numerous in making to me".

DEMONSTRATIONS

National television broadcast footage on Monday night of Bouteflika in his trademark three-piece suit receiving several senior officials.

Students have been at the forefront of weeks of massive demonstrations demanding Bouteflika step down, in a country where half the population is under the age of 30.

Messages posted overnight on social media urged students across the country to "end this system, end this mafia" with more protests planned on Friday.

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