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Figure Close to Algeria’s Bouteflika Runs for President

Figure Close to Algeria’s Bouteflika Runs for President

Friday, 27 September, 2019 - 07:45
People carry national flags during a protest seeking the departure of the ruling elite, as the country prepares for a presidential election in Algiers, Algeria April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algeria's former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced on Thursday his candidacy for the presidential elections slated for Dec. 12, amid an announcement by Ali Benflis, a former head of the FLN party, that he would run in the polls.

Tebboune was accompanied by politicians loyal to the former regime and journalists who seemed to back his candidacy. He was a key supporter of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and was assigned twice to the ministry of housing and urban development.

One of his sons is in prison on drug charges.

Abdallah Baali, Algeria's former ambassador to the United States, would allegedly be in charge of his electoral campaign.

Tebboune stated that he was 'a victim of the past regime', in reference to his removal from the premiership in August 2017 only two months after taking office. Rumors spread back then that some businessmen whom he offended were behind his isolation.

Some of them, such as Ali Haddad, are now in prison.

Benflis slammed Tebboune, saying he represents the fifth term that didn’t happen. He was hinting that Tebboune is close to Bouteflika who was prevented by protesters from seeking a fifth tenure.

The upcoming presidential elections are a step towards ending Algeria’s political crisis, he said in a news conference, stressing the necessity of dismissing the government of Noureddine Badawi. 

The National Independent Authority for Elections announced Thursday that 73 individuals are preparing to submit their candidacies. The new authority is exerting relentless efforts to mobilize people to vote and run in the polls.

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