- Title: Algerians living in France protest country's election in Paris
- Date: 11th December 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) ALGERIANS LIVING IN FRANCE GATHERED AT PROTEST AGAINST ALGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ALGERIAN FLAG VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERED, CHANTING PROTESTERS GATHERED WITH BANNER READING (French): "REJECTION OF ELECTIONS OF THE JUNTA" PROTESTERS GATHERED, CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (French) ALGERIAN LIVING IN FRANCE, HACHEDI BOUDRAHEM, SAYING: "It's an appointment (not an election). For 55 years, we haven't held a vote (on presidential election). Elections don't exist. It's just like Russian dolls, you take one (and you get another one). They've taken the political life out of the youth." BANNER READING (French): "PEOPLE HELD HOSTAGE" VARIOUS OF PROTEST SIGNS ON METAL STRUCTURE SIGN READING (French): "I'M ALGERIAN, I LOVE MY COUNTRY, I'M NOT VOTING" (SOUNDBITE) (French) ALGERIAN LIVING IN FRANCE, MOHAMMED BAHLOUL, SAYING: "What's happening today? They have stolen our independence. They brought in straw puppets to lead us, and as a product of colonialism, they brought in young people to back them. Today, they are in power. They're selling Algeria in exchange for raw materials." BANNER READING (French): "STOP THE JUNTA ACCOMPLICES" PROTESTERS GATHERED POLICE VANS ALGERIAN FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 25th December 2019 17:40
- Keywords: Algeria France Paris presidential election protest
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001B9J7TJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Algerians living in France blocked on Wednesday (December 11) Algeria's consulate in Paris to prevent their fellow citizens from casting a ballot in the country's presidential election.
Up to 150 protesters, mostly young men, chanted and held posters urging Algerians not to vote as they regarded the poll as a charade.
The election due on Thursday (December 12) is shaping up to be a pivotal moment in the months-long struggle between the shadowy network of military, security and political leaders known as the "pouvoir", who have ruled for decades, and a leaderless street protest movement.
While the military, the dominant force in the pouvoir - "the power" - has cast the election as the only way to end the stalemate on the streets, the protesters reject it as a sham designed to maintain the status quo.
They say no election can be free or fair while the old guard of rulers remain in power and the military stays involved in politics. No foreign observers are in Algeria to monitor the vote.
Whoever is elected after Thursday's first round and a potential run-off later this month will face a series of hard decisions, with declining energy revenue leading to a planned 9% cut in public spending next year.
All five of the state-approved candidates running on Thursday are former senior officials linked to the former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika whom the army forced aside in April in response to the protests.
(Production: Martin Esposito, Ardee Napolitano)
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