The biggest protests in years against Algeria's president are gaining strength.

Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating for nearly two weeks, calling for Abdelaziz Bouteflika to pull out of next month's election. 

The 82-year-old has been in power for two decades but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

In a letter on Monday, Bouteflika promised that he won't serve a full time if re-elected in April's presidential elections and will call for early elections.

Now, the country's army chief is trying to quell the protests by evoking memories of Algeria's 1991-2002 civil war, which killed at least 200,000 people.

How will the protesters respond and who's really in charge in Algeria?

 

Presenter: James Bays

Guests:

Amel Boubekeur - Research fellow, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences 

Michael Willis - Author, Politics and Power in the Maghreb: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco from Independence to the Arab Spring

Youcef Bouandel - Professor of international affairs, Qatar University

Source: Al Jazeera News