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Algeria's Bouteflika 'too ill' for fifth term - Islamist opposition

February 6, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Former Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika [National Algerian Centre/Facebook]

An Algerian opposition party said Wednesday 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika would be unable to handle the demands of a fifth term in office, due to his ill health, says France 24.

“Bouteflika is not able to continue to govern because of the nature of his illness,” said the Movement for the Society of Peace, the Islamist party whose leader Abderrazak Makri has said he will stand in the April 18 presidential poll.

Bouteflika, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, has yet to announce whether or not he will run in the election.

But the country’s ruling coalition at the weekend named the president, who has been in power since 1999, as its candidate.

READ: Bouteflika’s candidacy threatens Algeria and harms its reputation

“His candidacy for a fifth mandate is not in his interest, but in the interests of those who benefit from this situation,” the MSP statement said.

“They will take full responsibility for what will come… and dangers that threaten the country,” the party added, without elaborating.

For the last presidential election in 2014, Bouteflika only declared his intention to run a few days ahead of the deadline.

Presidential candidates have until March 3 at midnight (2300 GMT) to submit their applications.

Once a part of the coalition that supports Bouteflika, the MSP, which describes itself as moderate, withdrew from the alliance in 2012.

Who's really in charge in Algeria - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Who’s really in charge in Algeria – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]