As Ailing President Seeks Fifth Term, Algerians Demand Alternative
Thousands of Algerians took to the streets in protests across the country after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he will be seeking re-election for another five-year term. Bouteflika has served as head of state continuously since 1999. He successfully campaigned in 2008 to abolish term limits. The octogenarian suffered a stroke in 2013 and has since rarely appeared in public. Protests against his rule are largely motivated by frustrations over an economic slowdown. Dissent has spread beyond the country’s borders to the worldwide Algerian diaspora community; a crowd of French Algerians thousands strong demonstrated in Paris yesterday. Protests were also held in U.S. cities like New York and Washington. Mouloud Bourbet organized a protest in front of Daley Plaza over the weekend. He’s a member of the local Algerian American community and organizer of several online forums. Bourbet joins us to talk about Algerians’ frustrations with Bouteflika and what we can expect from the upcoming presidential contest.