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For Second Day, Hundreds Protest against Bouteflika’s Reelection

For Second Day, Hundreds Protest against Bouteflika’s Reelection

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 - 18:45
Young demonstrators take part in a protest against President Bouteflika's candidacy for a fifth term in Algiers. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Hundreds of Algerians took to the streets for the second straight day to protest against President Abdulaziz Bouteflika’s run for a fifth term in office.

The turnout was smaller than on Friday when thousands took to the streets of Algiers and other cities against the 81-year-old leader's decision to stand in the April 18 presidential election.

Bouteflika, in office since 1999, has been seen in public only a handful of times since suffering a stroke in 2013.

"There won't be a fifth term," said Said Kamel, who took part in the protest in central Algiers, according to Reuters.

Bouteflika will travel on Sunday to Switzerland for medical checks, his office said on Thursday, without giving details.

The ruling FLN party has picked him as its presidential candidate. Several political parties, trade unions and business organizations have already said they would back him as the opposition remains divided.

Strikes and protests over social and economic grievances are frequent in Algeria, but are generally localized and do not touch on national politics.

More than a quarter of Algerians under 30 are unemployed, according to official figures, and many feel disconnected from a ruling elite made up of veteran fighters from Algeria's 1954-1962 independence war with France.

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