AFP / Algiers
Several hundred Algerians marched yesterday in support of a presidential election rejected by a mass protest movement that has rocked the North African country since February.
The march was organised by the UGTA trades union group which is close to the National Liberation Front of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who quit in April under pressure from the street.
The UGTA supported Bouteflika during his 20 years at the helm in Algeria.
Pro-regime “spontaneous” rallies have been held across the country as the December 12 polling day nears, but yesterday’s was the first staged by a group close to the regime.
“No to foreign interference!” read one placard in response to a European Parliament resolution on Thursday.
The resolution condemned “the arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detainment of, attacks on and intimidations of journalists, trade unionists, lawyers, students, human rights defenders and civil society and all peaceful protesters” in Algeria.
Algiers denounced what it called “flagrant interference in its internal affairs” and a “disregard” for its institutions.
Marchers yesterday also voiced their support for the military.
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