- Title: ALGERIA: Police fire tear gas at protesters trying to disrupt voting in Algeria
- Date: 18th April 2014
- Summary: RAFOUR, ALGERIA (APRIL 17, 2014) (REUTERS) MAIN STREET OF VILLAGE WITH STONES ON THE GROUND AND DEMONSTRATORS WALKING PROTESTERS JUMPING AND SHOUTING PRO-BERBER SLOGANS VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS FACING RIOT POLICE (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNNAMED PROTESTER, SAYING: "People reject this election in all ways. It's not an election, it's a farce whose result is already known. I don't know how to talk about sovereignty as the dice has already been thrown." PROTESTERS RUNNING ALONG STREET PROTESTERS SHOUTING/RIOT POLICE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS THROWING OBJECTS AT RIOT POLICE VARIOUS OF POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS AT PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNNAMED PROTESTER, SAYING: "We are not supporting anyone, we are neither with the candidate Bouteflika nor with the candidate Benflis. We are fed up with this system and we've had enough of this authority, we are just fed up with everything here in Algeria." VARIOUS OF RIOT POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS AT PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 3rd May 2014 13:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5OO0F29HFIS41KR9I43UYZPJX
- Story Text: Hundreds of young demonstrators took to the streets in the Algerian village of Rafour, 120 kilometres east of the capital Algiers, on Thursday (April 17), to protest against the presidential election taking place across the country.
Roads were blocked around two villages near Bouira in the Berber region.
The demonstrations began in the middle of the night, with protesters burning tyres and shutting down roads leading to the village.
Algerian riot police fired tear gas and clashed with the young protesters who tried to disrupt voting in the village.
"People reject this election in all ways. It's not an election, it's a farce whose result is already known. I don't know how to talk about sovereignty as the dice has already been thrown," said one demonstrator who declined to give his name.
Opposition leaders say it is time for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, widely expected to win the vote, to make good on promises to hand over to a new generation of leaders, tackle corruption and open up an economy hampered by restrictions dating back to Algeria's post-independence socialism.
Many younger Algerians say they feel disconnected from their country's political leadership.
"We are not supporting anyone, we are neither with the candidate Bouteflika nor with the candidate Benflis. We are fed up with this system and we've had enough of this authority, we are just fed up with everything here in Algeria," said another protester, who kept his face covered.
The protest area is a stronghold of the RCD opposition party that has called for a boycott of the election.
Along with Rafour, there were also riots in Haizer, about 180 kilometres east of Algiers where protesters burned several ballot boxes, an activist told Reuters.
The area is also a mostly ethnic Berber region that sees sporadic clashes with local authorities.
Bouteflika is expected to win the vote after 15 years in power, even though he has been rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke last year.
He did not campaign, though allies say he is well enough to govern.
Results of the election are due on Friday (April 18) at the earliest.
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