Tuesday 22 October 2019

Judges, clerics rebuff ailing Algeria leader

People celebrate on the streets after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced he will not run for a fifth term. Photo: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra
People celebrate on the streets after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced he will not run for a fifth term. Photo: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

Lamine Chikhi

More than 1,000 judges said they would refuse to oversee Algeria's election if President Abdelaziz Bouteflika contests it, and clerics defied any state role in their work, in a double rebuff to an ailing leader fighting for his political survival.

Mr Bouteflika, who returned to Algeria on Sunday after medical treatment in Switzerland, has watched one long-time ally after another join mass demonstrations calling on him to step down.

Now in their third week, the protests have seen Algerians demonstrate in towns across the country against Mr Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term.

The judges added their voice to the protests by announcing the formation of a new association "to restore the gift of justice".

Irish Independent

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