Rabat – Algerian ruling party National Liberation Front (FLN) announced on Saturday its candidate for April’s presidential election. Unsurprisingly, FLN chose President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as its candidate to run for the fifth term in this year’s election.
The FLN coordinator, Mouad Bouchareb, said that the party “designated President Bouteflika as the party’s candidate.”
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said on February 2 that he backs Bouteflika, emphasizing that he remains the “best candidate.”
Rally for Culture and Democracy, an Algerian opposition party, is against Bouteflika’s re-election.
The party’s spokesperson Yassine Aissiouane said that “there will be no election but an appointment of the head of state.”
This is not the first time politicians and journalists have criticized Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term.
Adalberto Agozino, an analyst at the Alternative News Agency of Argentina, said in September 2018 that Algeria’s sacking of military officials was a way to “steal” the next election and questioned Bouteflika’s ability to lead in the fifth term.
The Algerian government launched a purge of the military in 2018, sacking several top military officers for alleged officers.
Former French Ambassador to Algeria Bernard Bajolet also criticized Bouteflika, questioning his ability to lead. He said that Bouteflika is being kept alive “artificially.”
Last year, Algerian journalist Lila Haddad recorded a video at the European Parliament’s studio in Brussels, denouncing the Algerian regime for “undermining” the dignity of Algerian citizens.
The journalist, who is based in Brussels, also said that Bouteflika is “nothing more than a heap of flesh exposed to the world.”
Two other candidates will run for election, including former Prime Minister Ali Benflis and Major General Ali Ghediri.
Bouteflika has been in power since 1999. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.