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Algeria's Bouteflika, 81, gets key backing for fifth-term bid

Algeria's Bouteflika, 81, gets key backing for fifth-term bid

Algeria

Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has received a firm backing of a key ally of the ruling party as he seeks a fifth straight term in polls slated for April 2019.

The National Rally for Democracy, known by its French initials RND, led by the Prime Minister Ahmed Ouhayia is allied to Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, known by French initials FLN.

President Bouteflika who last addressed the nation more than six years ago is however yet to officially announce his candidacy. Candidates are expected to submit their applications by March 3.

In power since 1999, the 81 year-old president has been weak since suffering a stroke in 2013, which diminished his mobility and forced him to work from his residence.

He has since travelled abroad several times to undergo medical treatment in France and Switzerland. The president makes only rare public appearances, during which he is usually seen sitting in a wheelchair.

The FLN central committee has formalized Bouteflika’s candidacy awaiting whether or not he will seek a new mandate.

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