Restive Algeria awaits decisive move from returned president

His absence saw mounting, massive demonstrations demanding that he withdraw his candidacy for a fifth term in next month’s election.

11 March 2019 | 13:02

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 11 March 2019 | 13:02

Demonstrators stage a protest to denounce President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term on Place de la Republique in Paris, Sunday, March 10, 2019. (AP Photo)

ALGIERS, Algeria: Algerian workers are holding scattered walkouts and students are gathering for protests as their tense nation waits to see whether ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika offers any concessions in the face of unprecedented protests.

Algerian media and protest leaders expect Monday to be a decisive day for the gas-rich North African country, after Bouteflika returned home Sunday from two weeks in a Swiss hospital.

His absence saw mounting, massive demonstrations demanding that he withdraw his candidacy for a fifth term in next month’s election.

Security is high Monday in Algiers, where some businesses are shuttered by strikes and high school and university students are planning protest-related activity.

Algerians have hardly seen Bouteflika since he suffered a stroke in 2013, and anger has mounted at the country’s secretive power structure.

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