Anti-government protesters have gathered in downtown Algiers for the 32nd consecutive week of anti-government protests as of Friday, September 27, amid a heightened security presence in the capital. Demonstrators are denouncing the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12, and are demanding fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held. Protesters also called for the release of political activists, notably Karim Tabbou, an opposition figure.
Traffic disruptions were reported on the Lakhdaria highway leading to the capital, as security forces erected checkpoints. Similar protests are possible in other urban centers. Heightened security measures are likely across the country, and clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
On Sunday, September 15, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced that presidential elections will be held on December 12, following months of political tensions in Algeria, sparked by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's intention to run for a fifth term. A caretaker government was approved on March 31, though protesters have continued to hold demonstrations. Presidential elections previously set for July 4 were called off by the Algerian Constitutional Council after the only two candidates were rejected.
Individuals in Algeria are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized business and transportation disruptions around protest sites.
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