New rallies hostile to the December 12 presidential election took place Tuesday across Algeria, in front of the places where the candidates held rally, on the third day of a turbulent electoral campaign, according to a journalist and an NGO.
« Dozens » of people were arrested during these gatherings, told AFP Said Salhi, vice president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH), citing a network of activists of society civil society across the country.
Several people were arrested in El Oued (550 km south-east of Algiers) outside the room where former Prime Minister Ali Benflis was holding a meeting, a local journalist told AFP. « Two people in the room tried to disrupt the meeting. »
According to Mr. Salhi, arrests were also made in Relizane (100 km from Oran, the second largest city in the country), where Abdelaziz Belaïd, head of a micro-party close to the government, and Béchar ( 750 km southwest of Algiers) where Abdelmaldjid Tebboune, former Prime Minister (2017) of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was forced by the street to resign in April.
Opponents of the ballot also gathered in Boumerdes (35 km east of Algiers) where Abdelkader Bengrina, leader of a small Islamist party also supported Bouteflika.
In a video published on social networks, we see Mr. Benflis speak in front of a poster of « the campaign direction (…) of the wilaya (prefecture) of El Oued », before being suddenly interrupted by a man in the audience.
« You betray the people with your candidacy »
« The people are in the street and you betray it with your candidacy, » shouts the standing man, whom Mr. Benflis unsuccessfully invites to sit down to answer him.
« You have looted the country, » he told the former Prime Minister (2000-2003) Mr. Bouteflika, resuming a slogan of « Hirak », the unprecedented protest movement of the regime born in February.
« This election gives legitimacy to (Ahmed) Gaid Salah », chief of staff of the army and strongman of the country since April, the man continues, before being led by men in plain clothes.
General Gaïd Salah has swept away all the demands of « Hirak » on a change of regime and refuses any other way out of crisis that the presidential election of December 12 which, according to the protesters, aims only to regenerate the « system » to power of which they want to get rid.
Protesters also walled Tuesday the access of local offices of the Independent Authority for Elections in several localities of the country, according to Salhi.