Protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gradually spread across Algeria

Thousands marched against President Bouteflika in Algiers and other major cities.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Algiers and other major cities against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term in April’s presidential elections.

The angry protests have continued for the fifth consecutive day in an attempt to prevent Bouteflika’s plans to extend his 20-year rule by seeking a fifth term in the upcoming presidential elections on April 18.

The demonstrations, which gradually spread to other major cities, were violently suppressed by the Algerian police with reports of some arrests.

The 80-year-old president has started using a wheelchair after he suffered a stroke in 2013, which resulted in him spending more than three months in France for medical treatment.

Since then, he has not directly addressed the Algerian public since 2012.

His political opponents charged that his long disappearance led to a power vacuum in the country, expressing deep concern over Algeria’s future, especially in light of his younger brother’s ambitions to take full control over the rule.

In 2011, Algeria managed to avoid the large‐scale anti-governments protests of the Arab Spring that saw the downfall of dictators in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

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