Algeria is facing early elections after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune dissolved the legislature on Thursday, adding in a broadcast statement that the Cabinet would be reshuffled within 48 hours.
He said a “fundamental change” was necessary to create institutions that are completely trusted. He added that the next elections must be free of corruption and said he wants to free detained activists.
The announcement came shortly before the second anniversary of the start of massive protests that led to the fall of long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2019.
The parliament was last elected in 2017, when Bouteflika was in power. New elections had not been expected until 2022.
Pressure has been building on the government in recent days. Protesters in the north have been demanding democracy and the collapse of the country’s “regime.” Many are also speaking out against corruption.
Tebboune was elected in December 2019, but many of the protesters say he is still linked to the groups that have ruled the country for years.