Algerians in London Protest President's Decision to Run for 5th Term

Algerians living in London marched in protest on Saturday, March 2, demonstrating against the decision by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term in April’s election.

Bouteflika, a veteran of Algeria’s war of independence from 1954 to 1962, turned 82 on Saturday and had a stroke in 2013. He has been in office since 1999. According to the New York Times, Bouteflika has not spoken in public in seven years. He was believed to be in Switzerland in recent days for medical checks, reports said.

Against the backdrop of of a faltering economy, his decision to run for a fifth term sparked mass protest in Algeria, with opponents saying he was no longer fit for office due to poor health.

Tens of thousands of people turned out in streets and towns across Algeria on Friday to join protests that were marked by violence.

The state-run Algerian Press Agency (APS) reported that one person died and 183 people were injured across the country. The agency also reported that 56 police officers were injured in Algiers.

On Saturday, the APS said Bouteflika has removed his campaign manager Abdelmalek Sellal and hired Abdelghani Zalene.

The deadline for for presidential election applications was due to close at midnight on Sunday, state media said. The applicant was required to submit the application file in person. Credit: Said Touama via Storyful