Algeria kicks off presidential campaign, 5 candidates to run

ALGIERS, Algeria — Algeria’s presidential campaign is officially starting Sunday with five candidates vying to replace the longtime leader pushed out in April amid sustained protests.

Two former prime ministers, Ali Benflis and Abdelmadjid Tebboune, are among those running in the Dec. 12 election to replacing former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Big crowds took to the streets Friday for a 39th consecutive week to demand an end to Algeria's post-colonial political system. Protesters say they don't trust those currently in power to ensure democratic elections, citing their past links to Bouteflika.

Benflis and Tebboune are considered the favorites of the vote. Candidates also include two former ministers, one of them a moderate Islamist, plus the head of a small party.

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