Election protests in Algeria


Published Mar 16, 2014 at 12:39AM / Updated Mar 16, 2014 at 07:25AM

Demonstrators from the “Barakat!” (“Enough”) group protest during a rally against Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Saturday in Algiers.

About 100 Algerian activists from a new anti-government movement staged a rare protest Saturday against the ailing president and his decision to run for a fourth term. Elections will take place on April 17.

While there was a heavy police presence, officers didn’t violently disperse the young protesters from the “Barakat!” group like they did in similar demonstrations earlier this month.

“The state backed off after the images of repression from last week,” group co-founder Amira Bouraoui said, adding that future protests would take place outside the capital. “We will continue our fight against the election and the system.”

The 77-year-old president will be running for a fourth term after 15 years in power, despite having a stroke last year that has made his speech and movement difficult. While six candidates have been approved for the April 17 elections, Bouteflika is expected to win with the backing of the powerful machinery of the state.