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Crowds celebrate after Bouteflika abandons re-election bid

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor March 12, 2019 12:24

Crowds celebrate after Bouteflika abandons re-election bid

Algerians took to the streets in celebration evening after ailing President AbdelazizBouteflika announced that he had abandoned his decision to seek a fifth term, bowing to weeks of mass demonstrations against his 20-year rule.Tens of thousands of people from all social classes have been demonstrating almost daily against Bouteflika’s decision to stand in the election, rejecting a stale political system dominated for nearly 60 years by veterans of an independence war against France.

After the announcement, a crowd of demonstrators took to the streets waving a huge Algerian flag. Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the throng, jumping up and down with excitement. Cars beeped their horns in approval.Bouteflika, 82, has ruled for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. His opponents say they do not believe he is in a fit state to run the country, one of Africa’s biggest oil producers, and suspected he was being kept in place to protect the grip of the military and business elite.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor March 12, 2019 12:24
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