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President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Dominates Algerian Politics

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is among six candidates vying to become the next leader of the oil-rich North African nation, as voters cast ballots in Thursday's presidential election.

The 77-year-old president is widely expected to win a fourth term, in spite of health issues that prevented him from campaigning.

Mr. Bouteflika has made few public appearances since suffering a stroke last year. He cast his ballot Thursday from a wheelchair at an Algiers polling station.

In 2009, he captured about 90 percent of the vote.

The president has the backing of the ruling National Liberation Front Party.

In spite of his popularity, there have been sporadic protests against his re-election bid. Also, some opposition supporters called for an election boycott.

Mr. Bouteflika took power in 1999, near the end of a civil war that pitted Islamist extremists against the military-backed government.

In 2008, he amended the constitution to allow for unlimited re-election of sitting presidents.

Analysts say President Bouteflika's toughest challenger in Thursday's vote is his former prime minister, Ali Benflis, who is the leading opposition candidate.

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Generosity Overwhelms Quake-Stricken Nepal

Multimedia Quake Overwhelms Nepal

VOA's Steve Herman describes the scene in Kathmandu, where quake survivors persevere despite death toll, which now exceeds 4,300 More

UNOCHA
Steve Herman
UN Development
Steve Herman
Steve Herman
Steve Herman
UNOCHA
UNOCHA
Steve Herman
United Nations