Rallies held at campuses in Algiers

Algiers: Hundreds of students took part in new protests on Sunday in Algiers and other cities against a fifth term for ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who faced a midnight deadline to register for April elections.
Chanting slogans more than 100 students rallied near the main campus of the University of Algiers, in the city centre, cordoned off by police, AFP journalists said.
Hundreds more held rallies at campuses across Algiers, including at the Faculty of Law near the headquarters of the Constitutional Council where candidates must register for the presidential race, a student said.
Rallies inside and outside campuses in the northeastern city of Annaba also drew hundreds of students who chanted slogans, a local journalist said on condition of anonymity.
The TSA news website reported other protests in Algeria’s second and third cities, Oran and Constantine, as well as in Bouira, Skida and Gelma in the east and Tiaret and Mostaganem in the southwest.
Bouteflika’s announcement in February that he would seek another term despite his failing health has unleashed angry protests.
The 82-year-old, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since a 2013 stroke, has remained silent on the demonstrations since they broke out last month.
A week ago he flew to Switzerland for what his office described as “routine medical checks”.
On Saturday, he sacked his campaign manager Abdelmalek Sellal, a former prime minister who successfully oversaw Bouteflika’s past three re-election bids, state media said, without giving a reason.
Sellal was removed ahead of a deadline of midnight on Sunday for contenders to register for the election, and replaced by Transport Minister Abdelghani Zaalene.
There are no legal requirements for candidates to be physically present to submit their bid to the Constitutional Council. In 2014, Bouteflika registered in person. — AFP