Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the parliament building in Algiers on Sunday, October 13, to denounce a new energy law aimed at boosting investment in the hydrocarbon sector. Demonstrators accused the caretaker government of passing the bill to gain the support of Western countries amid nationwide anti-government protests. Riot police were reportedly deployed to the protest site to maintain security around the parliament building.
Additional protests are likely in Algiers and other major urban centers over the coming days and weeks. Heightened security measures are to be expected around any protest site, 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.
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.
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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