ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Political tensions are bubbling between Algeria’s governing party and the opposition amid the dueling threats of Islamic extremist violence and low oil prices that are pummeling the energy-dependent economy.
Citing security threats, the governing FLN held a stadium rally Wednesday to show what party chief Amar Saadani called “a front united behind President (Abdelaziz) Bouteflika and our army, mobilized more than ever to defend the borders of our country.”
Algeria sees sporadic attacks from al-Qaida’s North Africa arm and is worried about spillover violence from neighboring Libya.
Opposition groups held a rally creating a new political movement and calling for peaceful demonstrations around the country. They accused the FLN of scare-mongering to distract Algerians from economic woes. Opposition leader Ali Benflis called for early elections because of Bouteflika’s poor health.