Allies back Algeria's Bouteflika for fifth term

2018-06-21 18:05
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ( File, AFP)

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ( File, AFP)

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The main ally of Algeria's ruling party will back 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid next year for a fifth term in office, its head said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia of the Rally for National Democracy (RND) said his party would support Bouteflika in a presidential poll in 2019.

Bouteflika, head of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN), has led Algeria since 1999 and won a fourth term in 2014 despite suffering a stroke the previous year.

In a speech to the RND's ruling body, Ouyahia said the party would support Bouteflika "continuing his mission and his sacrifice in the service of Algeria".

Ouyahia, 65, is himself serving a fourth term as prime minister and is seen as a key Bouteflika ally.

The president made two rare public appearances in a wheelchair in April and May, at the inauguration of a mosque and for the extension of the Algiers metro.

In late May, a group of academics and political figures urged him not to seek a fifth mandate, citing his "advanced age" and "dramatic state of health", and warning against "unhealthy forces" trying to convince him to stand.

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