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Crowds celebrate after Bouteflika abandons re-election bid

12 March 2019

Algerians took to the streets in celebration on Monday evening after ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he had abandoned his decision to seek a fifth term, bowing to weeks of mass demonstrations against his 20-year rule.

After the announcement, a crowd of demonstrators took to the streets waving a huge Algerian flag. Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the throng, jumping up and down with excitement.

Cars beeped their horns in approval. Bouteflika, 82, has ruled for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. His opponents say they do not believe he is in a fit state to run the country, one of Africa's biggest oil producers, and suspected he was being kept in place to protect the grip of the military and business elite.