Middle East

Bouteflika to run for 5th term: Algeria's ruling party

Bouteflika has ruled Algeria since 1999

09.02.2019
Bouteflika to run for 5th term: Algeria's ruling party Algeria's incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

By Abdul Razak bin Abdullah

ALGIERS

Algeria’s ruling party on Saturday officially nominated incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term in office in the April 18 polls.

"I announce that the National Liberation Front (NLF) has nominated Bouteflika to run in the coming presidential election," NLF Secretary-General Mouad Bouchareb told a rally attended by thousands of supporters in Algiers.

The move came days after the ruling coalition partners nominated the aging leader to run in the polls.

Despite the announcement by the ruling party, no confirmation has yet been made by Bouteflika himself, who has ruled Algeria since 1999.

The Algerian Presidency has yet to issue a statement confirming the nomination.

Last month, the Interior Ministry announced that 172 people -- most of them largely unknown to the public -- had registered to contest the polls.

Some of the better-known candidates have stated their intention to withdraw their candidacies in case the aging Bouteflika decides to run.

One exception is retired army general Ali Ghadiri, who has said that he is “ready to compete” whether or not Bouteflika enters the race.

Algerian opposition leaders, for their part, have repeatedly urged the aging head of state -- who in 2013 was treated for a blood clot in his brain -- to refrain from contesting the poll.

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