The aspirants in controversial presidential polls in Algeria on Friday participated in a televised debate on the same day protesters held the final rally ahead of polls next week.
Ali Benflis, Abdelmajid Tebboune, Azzedine Mihoubi, Abdelaziz Belaid and Abdelkader Bengrina in a rare televised opportunity sold their political road maps ahead of the elections slated for December 12.
Reports indicate that the strict format of the debate did not encourage deep exchanges. Each candidate took their turn to answer a specific question in two minutes about the political, economic and social situation in the country.
All of them, according to AFP, sparingly touched “Hirak”, the protest movement that has been shaking Algeria since 22 February and which has rejected massively the election for which they are candidates.
This first televised presidential debate in the history of Algeria is an initiative of the Independent National Electoral Authority (Anie). Public and private television channels and the national radio broadcast the debate.
Algeria is seeking with the vote to replace long serving and ailing Abdul Aziz Bouteflika whose fifth term bid was thwarted by mass protests early this year forcing him to resign as president.