BEIRUT

Middle East

100 Algerians in rare protest against president

ALGIERS, Algeria: Algerian authorities for the first time have allowed about 100 people from a new opposition movement to protest against the ailing president's decision to run for a 4th term in April.

While turnout for the Barakat! ("Enough") movement's protest Saturday was light, possibly due to the driving rain, it was the first time police hadn't violently dispersed such a demonstration.

While six candidates have been approved for the April 17 elections, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is expected to win with the backing of the powerful machinery of the state.

Bouteflika suffered a stroke last year and appears to have trouble now speaking and moving, leading many to question if he is able to still lead this oil-rich nation which is a key Western ally in the fight against terrorism.

 

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