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Algeria's former president hints Bouteflika should not run for presidency

Algeria’s former President Liamine Zéroual has suggested that the country’s reins should be passed to the younger generations only a month before Algeria’s presidential elections are due to take place on 17 April, in a clear hint that 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika should not run for the presidency due to his ailing health and advanced age.

Zéroual, who ruled Algeria from 1994 until 1999, published a three-page letter in the Algerian press on Thursday, in which he argued that the constitutional amendments Bouteflika made in 2008, along with the president’s deletion of Article 74 of the Basic Law on the presidential term limits that he himself had established in 1996, have caused all the problems that Algeria is suffering from today.

Zéroual called on Algerians to unite and avoid friction at such a critical time and to support the army, which once defended the country against terrorism. “The military has been subject to a distressing attack with the sole purpose of weakening the national system of defence and security again to open the door to the many dangers that threaten Algeria,” said Zeroual in his letter.

The former president enjoys wide respect among the Algerian people for his simple and disciplined character and the way he led Algeria during the country’s most serious crisis.

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