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10 Dec 2019 | 07:35 AM UTC

Algeria: Heightened tensions ahead of presidential elections on December 12 /update 54

Heightened tensions continue ahead of scheduled presidential elections on December 12; heightened security measures and transportation disruptions expected during election day



Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in Algeria on Thursday, December 12, following over 40 weeks of protests in a call for political change. Protests have continued in the leadup to the election date, which have seen violent clashes with police.

Five candidates are running in the election: Abdelmajid Tebboune, Ali Benflis, Azzeddine Mihoubi, Abdelkader Bengrina, and Abdelaziz Belaid, most of which have served in high level ministerial roles in previous governments. 

Part of the population has vowed to boycott the election, as they oppose the list of candidates due to their links to the former regime. Independent candidates were not allowed to run by the interim military government. This tension has produced continued nationwide protests, and some outlets have stated that the government has repressed the protests with heavy hands.

Heightened security measures and business disruptions are to be expected throughout the day on Thursday, as well as spontaneous protests and the possibility of violent clashes.


Algeria is operating under an interim government, installed since former President Abdul-Aziz Bouteflika left office in April.

On September 15, Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced that presidential elections would be held on December 12, following months of political tensions in Algeria sparked by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's intention to run for a fifth term. An interim government was approved on March 31, though protesters have continued to hold demonstrations. Presidential elections previously set for July 4 were called off by the Algerian Constitutional Council after the only two candidates were rejected.


Individuals in Algiers and across Algeria are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized disruptions to business and transportation around protest sites.