Algeria Swamped With Massive Protests Against Bouteflika Re-Election.

As Algeria’s long-time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika is expected to submit a formal application to run for a fifth term on Sunday, people around the country have mobilized to protest his bid.

Tens of thousands of Algerians have taken to the streets across the country to protest against what they claim is 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s intention to run for a fifth term. The demonstrations have already been dubbed the biggest protests since the Arab spring, with photos and videos from the gathering circulating on social media.

Initially, many netizens pointed out that the Friday protest was peaceful, and riot police stayed out of it, smiling at passers-by, who chanted “peaceful, we’re brothers”, while mainstream media only reported that the protests have turned violent:

Shortly after that, some media outlets reported that law enforcement officers had used tear gas to disperse a group of about 200 young people, who hurled stones at police around 1.5 km from the presidential palace in Algiers.

AFP reported officers threw stones back at protesters and used batons to prevent demonstrators from reaching key central locations in Algiers, blocking protesters from approaching the Government Palace, which houses the prime minister’s offices.

According to the Algerian new outlet En-Nahar, citing the country’s General Directorate of National Security, 56 police officers, and at least 10 demonstrators were injured in the unrest, with 45 arrests made in the Algerian capital.

Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in 2013 and has rarely been seen in public since, announced his plan to seek another presidential term on 10 February, triggering a wave of nationwide protests. Since he is expected to submit a formal application to stand in the April election on Sunday, another string of protests may be expected over this weekend.

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