Despite unprecedented opposition protests, Algerians are poised to re-elect president to fourth term.
Al Jazeera – 13 April 2014
A group of protesters gathered last month at Algiers University in the centre of the city, ready to demonstrate against Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth consecutive term as president of Algeria. Police were there early, in heavy numbers, to ensure that the demonstration did not spread beyond the Fac Centrale d’Alger.
“There were not more than 100 protesters, but there were probably three times as many police,” said Kamal Benkoussa, who is supporting Barakat (“Enough” in Arabic), a civil society movement established in early 2014 to campaign against Bouteflika’s fourth mandate and in favour of a democratic transition in Algeria.
The protest was the latest in a series of Barakat-organised demonstrations against Bouteflika’s decision to run in the presidential elections, scheduled for April 17.
“The police made a human wall to make it impossible for people to walk on the street. We had to stay in a very small space in front of the university. People were worried that if they walked on the street, they’d be arrested,” Benkoussa, who withdrew from the presidential campaign on the news that Bouteflika was standing for re-election, told Al Jazeera.