Lawyers and journalists demonstrate Thursday in Algiers against a fifth term of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on the eve of a third Friday of protest across the country for which the mobilization looks strong.
A thousand lawyers from the bar of Algiers are gathered Thursday in front of the seat of the Constitutional Council, claiming that it invalidates the candidacy for a 5th term of the head of state in power for 20 years, noted a photographer of the AFP.
Aged 82, Mr. Bouteflika is weakened by the aftermath of a stroke since 2013 and tens of thousands of people marched since February 22 to request the withdrawal of his candidacy for a fifth term in the election of 18 April.
On Thursday, walking about 1.5 km, the lawyers have managed to cross, with some jostling but smoothly, several lines of police to reach even the Constitutional Council, which studies since March 4 21 applications filed on time including Mr Bouteflika's.
"We ask the Constitutional Council to assume its responsibilities," Ahmed Dahim, a member of the Algiers Bar Council, told AFP while his colleagues chanted "No to the 5th term".
"This application is inadmissible," continued the lawyer pointing out that the file had to legally include a medical certificate that the state of health of Mr. Bouteflika did not allow to issue.
The Council must decide on the candidatures before March 14th.
President Bouteflika was hospitalized on February 24 in Switzerland, officially for "periodic medical examinations", but his return to Algeria has still not been announced.
Since his stroke, the head of state has not spoken orally to Algerians and his public appearances have become rare.
– Journalists in the street –
By announcing his candidacy on February 10, he has unleashed an unprecedented challenge against him since he was elected head of state exactly 20 years ago.
On Wednesday, the Algerian Medical Association reminded the Constitutional Council that medical certificates issued to presidential candidates must meet the "rules of medical ethics" and that doctors drafting them must be "registered on the roll of the Ordre des médecins. ".
While officially banned since 2001 in the capital, the demonstrations are almost daily in Algiers since the beginning of the protest on February 22.
Journalists also began to gather on Thursday, Liberty Press Square, in central Algiers, Algerian media reporters report on the scene.
As on the previous Thursday, these journalists from private and public print media and the audiovisual sector are protesting against the "pressure" that their hierarchy has placed on their coverage of the current protest movement.
General assemblies, to reunite teachers and students, are also planned Thursday at several universities across the country to discuss including strike movements.
Friday, the mobilization, announced strong on the social networks through which the calls for the challenge, will be scrutinized closely.