Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term in office is probably going down the way he did not expect it to. His candidacy has been met with an overwhelming sense of disapproval from the same people he wants to rule - a sign that he is clearly unwanted.
Bouteflika suffered a major stroke in 2013, and it incapacitated his presidency a great deal. He has been bound to a wheelchair ever since, and he made his last official trip back in 2013 when he visited Tunisia. But all this has not deterred him from running for office.
However, Algerians are now fed up with his rule and are demanding the withdrawal of his candidacy. Protests have since become a defining feature of current Algerian politics. It is such a growing wave of dissatisfaction with Bouteflika and the message is simple - GO!
Despite a ban on protests, hundreds of Algerians flocked in Algiers, the Algerian capital, protesting against Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term. The ailing president is not even listening to the demands of the people. He spoke of himself as having an "unwavering desire to serve."
"Algerians' dignity has been infringed by the current president's bid to rule Algeria for five more years despite his ill health," a protester told the dpa news agency. The opposition remains weak and divided, factors that may aid Bouteflika's victory.
Bouteflika also remains popular with other Algerians, who rever his role in ending a long civil war by offering an amnesty to former Islamist fighters.
And now, massive protests are being planned, which are dubbed the Million Man March.
The question that will always be there is whether the protests will remain peaceful, or will morph into prolonged armed battles; and whether Bouteflika will be moved by these protests (which is most unlikely).
Header image credit - Washington Post