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A kid wrapped in a national flag shouts during a protest in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, March 22, 2019. Thousands of Algerians are demonstrating in the major cities of the oil-rich North African country, demanding the resignation of ailing, 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. (AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum)

Algerian president’s party rejects his protest strategy

Algerian president’s party rejects his protest strategy

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) – Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s own party is rejecting his plans for a national conference aimed at quelling mass protests against his leadership.

The spokesman for the FLN party said Sunday on private TV channel Dzair News that the conference idea is “no longer valid” because it would involve unelected figures and the protesters reject it.

Spokesman Hocine Khaldoun said the solution to Algeria’s political crisis is “the election of a president capable of talking to the people.”

The comments mark a new blow to 82-year-old Bouteflika, who has barely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke and has faced a month of protests.

Bouteflika canceled an April 18 election but proposed the national conference made up of various representatives of society to prepare new elections.

A kid wrapped in a national flag shouts during a protest in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, March 22, 2019. Thousands of Algerians are demonstrating in the major cities of the oil-rich North African country, demanding the resignation of ailing, 82-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. (AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum)

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