Algerian protests swell on day Bouteflika declares re-election bid

ALGIERS - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has submitted official papers confirming he will seek re-election, Ennahar TV said on Sunday, despite mass protests against the move.
There was no official confirmation, but state news agency APS published his asset declaration, which is a formal requirement to run in the election.
Tens of thousands of protesters had been rallying throughout the day in cities around Algeria to call for Bouteflika to step down. Numbers were approaching the levels of Friday when demonstrators filled the center of the capital Algiers in one of the biggest outpourings of dissent - rare in Algeria - since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Bouteflika, 82, in shaky health for years, submitted his official election papers at the Constitutional Council in Algiers on Sunday, the private TV channel said.
He did not have to do so in person, state news agency APS had said earlier. Bouteflika, rarely seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013, was still in Switzerland for unspecified medical checks at the weekend, Swiss media reported.
A Reuters witness said trucks from Bouteflika's campaign arrived at the Constitutional Council on Sunday afternoon
Opponents of Bouteflika say is no longer fit to lead, citing his poor health and what they call chronic corruption and a lack of economic reforms to tackle high unemployment that exceeds 25 percent among people under the age of 30.
Analysts say the protesters, who began hitting the streets 10 days ago, lack leadership and organization in a country still dominated by veterans, like Bouteflika, of the 1954-62 independence war against France.
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