Algerian president names new election campaign director

March 2, 2019 GMT

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The campaign office of Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has named a new campaign chief, one day after masses of Algerians took to the streets to protest his bid for a fifth term.

A statement published by state press agency APS on Saturday said former prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal was dismissed as campaign chief and replaced by transport minister Abdelghani Zaalane. The statement didn’t provide reasons for the change.

Bouteflika’s bid for the April 18 presidential election is expected to be formally presented to the Constitutional Council on Sunday.

The announcement last month that he would seek a new term prompted several protests in recent days in Algiers and other cities.

Bouteflika, who turns 82 on Saturday, suffered from a stroke in 2013 that has left him largely hidden from public.