Thousands of Montrealers rally against Algerian president's re-election bid

More than 1,000 people gathered near Montreal's Algerian consulate on Sunday to protest against the candidacy of the country’s incumbent president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

People gathered outside the Algerian consulate on Sunday to call for political change

The Algerian president has been in power for two decades and he has said he's looking to hold the seat even longer as the April 19 election fast approaches. (CBC)

More than 1,000 people gathered near Montreal's Algerian consulate on Sunday to protest against the candidacy of the country's incumbent president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

"All the institutions of the republic have failed in their role," said Jihed Halimi, co-organizer of the Montreal event which brought people together at the corner of Sherbrooke and St-Urbain streets.

"It is up to us, the people, to express ourselves."​

​Opponents of Bouteflika say he's no longer fit to lead, citing his poor health and what they call chronic corruption and a lack of economic reforms to tackle high unemployment that exceeds 25 per cent among people under the age of 30.

Nadia Yala, an Algerian who moved to Quebec in 2013, attended the protest with her young son and daughter.

Nadia Yala brought her young son and daughter to the protest to stand in solidarity with protesters in Algeria. (CBC)

She said Algerians have had enough with the country's political system, saying: "It's not a government, it's a mafia."

"We are here today to help our brothers, our sisters who stay in Algeria who are living in this corrupt system," said Yala. "So we are here today to add our voice to their voices."

Other rallies were held in Ottawa, in front of the Algerian Embassy, ​​and in Paris on Sunday.

On Friday, tens of thousands gathered across Algeria. The anti-government demonstrations are said to be the largest since the Arab Spring in 2011.

With files from Radio-Canada, Simon Nakonechny


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