Protesters have started gathering in downtown Algiers as of Friday, November 15, to denounce the government's decision to hold presidential elections on December 12. The electoral campaign is set to start on Sunday, November 17, but participants are demanding fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held. Protesters are also denouncing alleged press censorship and have called for the release of political activists.
Associated protests are expected in other urban centers across the country.
Political rallies and protests related to the upcoming elections are expected across Algeria in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions (e.g. transportation, commercial, internet service) are likely during any protests. 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 interim 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 disruptions to businesses and transportation around protest sites.
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