Polling is under way in Algeria’s presidential elections with incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika widely-expected to win and extend his 15 years in power.
Bouteflika, who has made very few appearances since suffering a stroke last year, leads the dominant National Liberation Front party (FLN) and has the support of unions.
Some of the other candidates and observers have said that state resources are being used in a way that gives him an unfair advantage.
Several opposition parties have boycotted the election believing the result to be a foregone conclusion.
Police broke up small groups of protesters from a group called Barakat, meaning “Enough”, ahead of the elections. They have called them a ‘farce’.
The outcome of the vote is being closely watched by Western governments as Algeria is seen as a partner in Washington’s campaign against Islamist militancy in North Africa and as a stable gas supplier to Europe.
Results are expected at the earliest on Friday (April 18).