Government ups security in Algiers for Bouteflika's election bid
Algiers - Hundreds of police officers and soldiers were deployed in the Algerian capital Algiers on Sunday, as ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was set to defy mass street protests by officially registering his candidacy for a fifth term in office.
Security personnel were stationed at focal points for protesters and around state institutions in the city, witnesses said.
Security vehicles meanwhile patrolled Algiers' main roads, they added.
Bouteflika is widely expected to submit his candidacy papers later Sunday, the last day for registration to run in next month's presidential election.
Mass protests have erupted across Algeria since Bouteflika announced last month his intention to seek a new five-year term in the April 18 poll.
Some opposition parties have said they will boycott the vote in protest against his re-election bid.
Bouteflika, who turned 82 on Saturday, has named a new head of his election campaign.
He also presented a statement on his property, a requirement for potential presidential contenders in Algeria, state-run newspaper Elmoudjahid reported on Saturday.
Bouteflika has ruled the North African country since 1999. He suffered a stroke in 2013 and is rarely seen in public.
He is the only president in North Africa who was spared in the pro-democracy uprisings of the Arab Spring, which started in neighbouring Tunisia in 2010.
At the time, his government contained pro-democracy protests with promises of reform and pay raises, financed by the country's revenues from oil and gas.
But in recent years, Algeria's finances have been hurt by the global drop in oil prices, prompting cuts in state subsidies.dpa