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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid