Several lawmakers of ruling Algerian FLN party resign, reports TV

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Several lawmakers of Algeria’s ruling FLN party have resigned to join mass anti-government protests, the private Ashourouq TV station said on Friday.

No more details were immediately available. Protesters have been demonstrating for weeks against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to stand for another term.

Earlier in the day, train and metro services in Algiers were suspended on Friday and riot police were deployed to the streets ahead of expected protests in the Algerian capital against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20-year rule.

Bouteflika is in hospital in Geneva and has not spoken publicly since a stroke in 2013, but on Thursday he issued his first warning to protesters, saying the unrest, now entering its third week, could destabilize the country.

The demonstrations the biggest since the 2011 “Arab Spring”, pose the biggest ever challenge to the 82-year-old president, who is standing for re-election on April 18.

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