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16 October 2018 Algeria MPs padlocked parliament in protest

Around 200 deputies kept Algeria’s parliament locked up for several hours on 16 October in a protest action to press Said Bouhadja, president of Algeria’s lower house, to step down. “We’re here to demand the speaker resigns,” Abdelhamid Si Affif, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told AFP after the protesters blocked the entrance with a chain and padlock. Said Bouhadja has since late September resisted the calls to resign over charges of “mismanagement, exaggerated and illicit expenses and dubious recruitment”. Algeria’s constitution and laws do not lay down a procedure for the dismissal of a parliament speaker if he refuses to step aside. The Algerian institutional crisis speeds up as the next democratic elections are getting closer (April 2019), and the disputes between the different political groups of the executive and between these and the army are magnified.