Thousands of protesters reportedly gathered in Seddouk (Béjaïa) on the morning (local time) of Wednesday, September 18, to denounce the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12, and to demand fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held, as well as the release of protesters held during previous demonstrations. A general strike was held in parallel.
Similar protests are to be expected in Algerian cities, including Algiers, over the coming weeks amid a heightened security presence. Localized transportation and business disruptions are to be anticipated around demonstration sites.
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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