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Protesters in Algeria march in favor of government

ALGIERS – Algerian citizens in support of the government have taken to the streets in demonstrations in several cities across the North African country to show their support for next month’s elections.

The Dec. 12 poll has been decried by members of a long-running nationwide protest movement who’ve been protesting each Friday since mid-February against the status quo and forced president Abdelaziz Bouteflika out of power in April.

Saturday’s protests, with some several thousand participants, are the largest pro-government demonstrations of their kind seen in Algeria. They were organized by the General Union of Algerian Workers, or UGTA.

They are, however, much smaller than the Friday protests that reject the elections over fears they will be rigged in favor of the old regime.