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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid