The campaign for Algeria's upcoming presidential election, set for Thursday, December 12, officially began on Sunday, November 17. Five Algerian candidates will run for president in the elections seeking to replace former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Activists continue to denounce the government's decision to hold these presidential elections as they demand fundamental changes in political leadership before any election is held, as well as the freedom of press and the release of political activists. Anti-government protests were held in several cities on Monday, November 18, to denounce the election campaign including in Bejaia, Blida, Setif, and Guelma while pro-elections protests were also reported in Oran, Constantine, Sidi Bel Abbes, and Bordj Bou Arreridj.
Further nationwide protests and political rallies are expected throughout the campaign period, amid heightened tensions in the country. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions (e.g. transportation, commercial, internet service) are likely during any protests. Clashes between rival political supporters 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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