Tens of thousands protest in Algeria three weeks before elections

Time of article published Nov 22, 2019

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Algiers - Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets

in Algiers on Friday rallying against the upcoming presidential

elections, as candidates continue their campaigns ahead of the

December 12 polls.

Protests began earlier this year in Algeria against Abdelaziz

Bouteflika's bid to run for a fifth term in office. In April,

Bouteflika was forced to resign under pressure from the street and

the military.

On Friday, protesters reiterated their slogan "All of them must step

down," which they have used for months, voicing their demand that key

Bouteflika-era officials should resign before the country holds new


While protests have taken place every Friday and Tuesday since

Bouteflika's resignation, rallies have increasingly gained momentum

in recent weeks as they hope to increase pressure on authorities in

the run up to the vote.

Algerian authorities have defended the election plan, saying it is

necessary to end the long-running stand-off in the country.

Five contenders are vying for the presidency, including Ali Benflis

and Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who both served as premiers under


Bouteflika, now aged 82, ruled energy-rich Algeria for two decades,

an era that was dominated by cronyism and mismanagement.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned that Algerian

journalists are under growing pressure to portray the election


Four journalists with the pro-government daily Le Temps d'Algérie

were suspended, when one of them accused management of censoring him

and "dictating a shameful editorial line." The other three were also

suspended when they walked out in solidarity, RSF said.


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