Algeria protests: Son of former prime minister dies in anti-government demonstration

Algerian-students-protest-against-President-Abdelaziz-Bouteflika.jpgThe son of the former prime minister of Algeria has died while taking part in anti-government protests.

Tens of thousands of people have gathered to take part in demonstrations to demand current president Abdelaziz Bouteflika drop his plans to stand for a fifth term.

Interior minister Noureddine Bedoui confirmed that Hassan Benkhedda, the son of Benyoucef Benkhedda, who led the country from 1961-1962, died during the protests.

Mr Benkhedda, who is believed to have been in his fifties, died after a clash between the police and “thugs unrelated to the protesters”, the minister said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.

Algerians have been taking to the streets calling on Mr Bouteflika to step down for the last 10 days.

Mr Bouteflika, 82, submitted his official election papers at the Constitutional Council in Algiers on Sunday, the deadline for candidates.

Mr Bouteflika, rarely seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013, was at the weekend still in Switzerland for unspecified medical checks, according to Swiss media. He was not required to submit his official papers in person.

Algeria’s weak and divided opposition and civic groups had called for more protests were Mr Bouteflika, who has been in power for 20 years, to confirm his re-election bid.

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