News / Middle East

Algeria's Bouteflika Registers for April Election

Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, seated in a car, leaves the Constitutional Court, in Algiers, March 3, 2014.
Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, seated in a car, leaves the Constitutional Court, in Algiers, March 3, 2014.
Reuters
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday formally registered his candidacy for April's election, one of the few times the aging independence veteran has spoken in public since suffering a stroke last year.

Bouteflika's registration at the Constitutional Council - a formal step for his candidacy - ended months of speculation over his intentions. But opposition leaders say they believe the president, who just turned 77, is still too weak to run again after a decade-and-a-half in power.

Algerian state television showed Bouteflika smiling at seated at a table to sign a document at the council, where he handed in petitions for his candidacy for a fourth term.

"I am here to register according to electoral law," Bouteflika said.

Earlier a private television channel which is close to the presidency showed him arriving in a limousine.

Algeria's prime minister announced a week ago that Bouteflika would run again, with loyalists praising the president as the man who can provide stability after helping bring Algeria out of its 1990s civil war with armed Islamists.

Even if he is still recovering, Bouteflika is almost assured of a win in the April 17 vote with the backing of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party and its allies which, along with the military, have dominated politics since the North African state won independence from France in 1962.

Since he has rarely been seen in public since returning from France last year after months of hospital treatment, opposition parties say there are still doubts about his health.

A second hospital visit for checkups in January stirred another round of succession speculation.

But opposition parties are weak and fractured, and lack the powerful machinery of the FLN and support of the military.

Five main candidates will run for the ballot, including one woman. Bouteflika's main competitor will be Ali Benflis, a former ruling party leader and prime minister.

In the short term, another Bouteflika mandate means stability for a major European energy supplier and partner in a U.S.-led campaign against Islamist militants in a region facing unrest after the 2011 revolts in other North African nations.

Oil companies are keen to see what terms will be on offer in an energy bidding round later this year, and the OPEC member needs reforms to entice investors after years of centralized state control.

Since returning from his Paris hospital stay last year, Bouteflika has moved to strengthen his hand in the backroom tussles with the chief of Algeria's powerful DRS military intelligence agency, who has long played political kingmaker.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid