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For the fifth time; Algeria’s ruling party chooses Bouteflika as presidential candidate

On Saturday, Mouad Bouchareb, leader of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN), said that the party had chosen the President “Abdelaziz Bouteflika” as its candidate for the presidential elections running in 14th April.

Bouteflika (81 years old), is a president since 1999, and he rarely show in public since he had a stroke in 2013 that left him in a wheelchair. He is likely to win a fifth term as the Algerian opposition is still weak and fragmented.

The President still has to formally announce his candidacy himself, which probably will be done through a letter read on his behalf, before the third of March.

In a sports stadium in Algeria, Bouchareb said to more than 2000 party supporters that the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) decided to choose Bouteflika as its candidate for April’s presidential elections. He added that this selection was out of the desire for continuity and stability and that the party is preparing for the campaign.

For months, there has been uncertainty about Bouteflika to run again because of his poor health.
His re-election will provide a short-term stability for the elite of the Liberation Front Party, the military and business leaders and defer the subject of his controversial succession..

Bouteflika is one of the elite that took part in Algeria’s independence from France from 1954 to 1962, and they have been running Algeria since that time.

Bouteflika remain popular among many Algerians who credit him to end the longest civil war by offering amnesty to former Islamist fighters.

His supporters say that his mind is still sharp although he needs a loudspeaker when he talks.The opposition say that it is not appropriate to run once again and a number of candidates, including a former senior officer, say that they will run against Bouteflika.