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Algerians stage largest ever anti-government protest

Staff Writer |
Hundreds of thousands of Algerians on Friday took to the street for the largest ever anti-government protest.

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In the capital Algiers, the protest was peaceful as anti-riot forces did not resort to repression, Xinhua reporter noticed.

The demonstrators of different ages waved the national flags and chanted slogans calling for political change.

The protesters came from different neighborhoods of Algiers, as they met in 1 Mai square, where they staged sit-in for several hours.

According to the latest developments, the demonstrators were marching towards the President Office in El Mouradia neighborhood in upper Algiers.

However, anti-riot forces already anticipated the situation as they had set cordons and blocked all roads and streets leading to El Mouradia. According to TSA news website, law and order troops dispersed the marchers with shots of tear gas grenades.

Meanwhile, wide scale marches were staged in major cities of Algeria.

The demonstrators expressed their rejection to the candidacy of incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term in office, and called for peaceful political change.

More protests are due to be staged in the upcoming days, activists pledged via social media platforms.

Presidential election in Algeria is due to be held on April 18, but some observers believe that the vote may be postponed regarding the current situation characterized by massive anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Thursday insisted that the polls are maintained on the preset date, calling on the people to vote to make the aspired change.

Some 190 candidates started submitting their candidacy files to the Constitutional Council for examination. All files meeting standards would be given green light for election campaign.

Bouteflika is currently in Geneva for medical examinations, according to a presidential statement.

Bouteflika, 81, suffered a stroke in 2013, and he was re-elected in 2014 for a fourth term until 2019.

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