Thousands of people in Algeria have taken to the streets of the capital, Algiers, to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term in office.
Protesters gathered in the city center after Friday prayers, chanting “Bye, bye Bouteflika,” “Peaceful, peaceful,” and “Regime murderers,” in an apparent reference to riot police, who fired tear gas to prevent the people from reaching key locations.
A photographer and journalist from local media were reportedly briefly detained by police during the protests.
According to the Algerian news website TSA, several protests also took place in other areas around the country.
Anti-government protests erupted in Algeria a week ago over the 81-year-old Bouteflika’s bid to extend his 20-year rule.
Earlier, Bouteflika had announced his plan to seek a new term in the April 18 presidential election in spite of doubts over his health condition. He has been seen in public only a few times since he suffered a stroke in 2013.
Bouteflika flew to Switzerland on Sunday for what the presidential office called “routine medical checks” ahead of the vote.
Algeria’s Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has said voters will be able to freely determine if the ailing president gets a fifth term or not at the ballot box.
Some demonstrators say the latest protests are aimed not only at Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term but also against “the system” as a whole.