Thousands of protesters have gathered in Algiers to participate in an anti-government demonstration on Friday, November 1, which coincides with the 65th anniversary of the Algerian War of Independence. Demonstrators are denouncing the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12. A heightened security presence has been reported around Place de la Grande Poste, where demonstrators have gathered. Security forces have reportedly arrested a number of protesters. The Algiers Metro has been shut down and all trains into the capital have been canceled.
Protests are expected to continue in Algiers and other Algerian cities over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized transportation and business disruptions are to be anticipated around demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
On 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, and particularly in Algiers, 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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