Ouyahia: groups trying to destabilise Algeria
ALGIERS - Algeria's prime minister on Thursday said the country's reforms had upset "certain parties," who may be trying to rekindle the discontent that led to last year's protests.
Speaking at the opening of a congress for his party, the National Rally for Democracy (RND), Ahmed Ouyahia said the January 2011 protests were "a manipulation of real frustrations among our young people by mafia interests who felt threatened by the increase in transparency of the law."
He did not single out any groups.
"Some people ... thought they could re-energise the disturbances of January 2011," he said.
Ouyahia is under pressure after opposition leaders this week called on longserving President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to remove him and appoint impartial technocrats to oversee a parliamentary election later this year.
The prime minister added that measures were being taken to ensure the transparency of elections.
Ouyahia also said Algeria has made progress in the past year, despite widespread economic malaise around the globe.
"Algeria, which has regained its financial independence, now boasts the right to negotiate the benefits of its booming market through mutually beneficial partnerships," he said.
Bouteflika had pledged to carry out reforms in an address to the nation in April after neighbour Tunisia and Egypt were rocked by unprecedented pro-democracy movements that ousted their longtime leaders as part of the Arab Spring uprisings.