Africa

Algerians protest against Bouteflika's bid for fifth term

A protestor holding a placard in Algiers Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protestors chanted "No fifth mandate" during Friday's demonstrations

Thousands of people gathered across Algeria on Friday to protest President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's plans to run for a fifth term.

Security forces in riot gear fired tear gas to block a march on to the presidential palace in the capital, Algiers. But protests in the rest of country passed off peacefully.

The Algerian premier has held office since 1999, but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

The authorities announced on Thursday that the president, who turns 82 next week, will travel to Switzerland on Sunday for medical checks.

Algerian protesters chant slogans during a demonstration protest Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Security forces cordoned off Algiers' May 1 Square during the protest, witnesses told local media.
An Algerian protestor wears the national flag at a protest in Algiers Image copyright AFP
Image caption Abdelaziz Bouteflika came to power in 1999 despite allegations of election fraud
Protestors gather in Algeria's capital Algiers Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Octogenarian Bouteflika is expected to win another election in April despite concerns for his health.
Algerian demonstrators hold a placard with the symbol of a man on a wheelchair Image copyright AFP
Image caption Algerian demonstrators defaced a parking sign of a man on a wheelchair (representing President Bouteflika, who uses a wheelchair).
Algerian protesters chant slogans during a demonstration protest against the fifth term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protests were held several other cities including Oran, Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia, Annaba and Setif, according to news website TSA.

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