Algeria to hold presidential election on April 18

Algerian city employees install Algerian flags and President’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika poster on the streets ahead of the Parliamentary election in Algiers, Algeria April 26, 2017. — Reuters pic
Algerian city employees install Algerian flags and President’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika poster on the streets ahead of the Parliamentary election in Algiers, Algeria April 26, 2017. — Reuters pic

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ALGIERS, Jan 18 — Algeria will hold a presidential election on April 18, the presidency said today, although it did not say whether veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika would stand as a candidate.

Bouteflika, 81, has been in office since 1999 and has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, since when he has used a wheelchair. Algeria’s ruling coalition has previously urged him to run again for the presidency.

Candidates have 45 days to inform the constitutional council of their intention to take part.

The North African country, an oil producer, avoided the major political upheaval seen in many other Arab countries in the past decade but has experienced some protests and strikes. Unemployment, especially among young people, remains high.

The economy has improved over the past year as oil and gas revenues have picked up. They account for 60 per cent of the budget and 94 per cent of export revenues. — Reuters

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