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Algerian Prosecutor Calls on Supreme Court to Try 2 Former PMs

Amid months-long protests that forced the ouster of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a prosecutor has called on Algeria’s Supreme Court to open cases into alleged corruption by two former prime ministers and eight cabinet ministers. The two former prime ministers are Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdel-Malek Sellal, according to state-run television, whereas most of the ministers served in Bouteflika’s cabinet prior to his resignation on April 2. Authorities have also detained Bouteflika’s brother, Said, two former intelligence chiefs and at least five prominent businessmen. Mass protests erupted in February in the North African nation, with demonstrators demanding an end to what they considered an elitist political infrastructure that has dominated Algeria since its independence from France in 1962. Protesters are also calling for the resignation of interim President Abdel-Kader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, whom they view as part of the ruling class. The army, long the most powerful institution in the country, had announced presidential elections for July 4, however Sunday’s registration deadline reportedly passed without any candidates formally throwing their names into the ring.