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Algeria Opposition Party to Boycott Presidential Elections

Algeria Opposition Party to Boycott Presidential Elections

Saturday, 2 February, 2019 - 10:15
Protesters shout slogans as they call for a boycott of the Algerian presidential election in Algiers March 21, 2014. (Reuters)

Algeria’s Rally for Culture and Democracy opposition party announced Friday that it will boycott the upcoming presidential elections in protest against President Abdulaziz Bouteflika’s possible run for a fifth term in office.

“Multiple violations of the constitution and the continued repression of freedoms have done away with all credibility” of the upcoming April poll, the secular party said.

RCD spokesman, Yassine Aissiouane, said, “There will be no election but an appointment of the head of state”, reported AFP.

Last week, Algeria's main Islamist party, the Movement for the Society of Peace, announced that it will field Dr. Abderrazak Makri as its candidate in the elections.

In power since 1999, 81-year-old Bouteflika uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since a stroke in 2013.

The president has not yet confirmed whether he will seek a new mandate, but he received an endorsement on Thursday from Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s National Rally for Democracy party.

Presidential candidates have until March 3 to submit their applications.

The head of Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front has said the president would be the party’s candidate in the April 18 poll.

Algeria’s oldest opposition party, the Front of Socialist Forces, announced on January 25 it would not put forward a candidate for the election and called for an “active, intensive and peaceful boycott” of the ballot.

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