Algerian President Bouteflika to run for fourth term
Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will run for a fourth term, his National Liberation Front (NLF) party announced on Saturday.
The 76-year-old leader will run for another term despite having said publicly in April 2012 that his generation's time had passed. He was referring to the independence-era leaders who have been running the country since the 1960s.
Recently, Bouteflika has taken a series of measures in what observers saw as paving his way to run up again for presidency.
One of these major steps included a shakeup of the country's Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS), a strong government organ suspected of running the country behind the scenes.
Amar Saidani, chairman of the National Liberation Front party or FLN, told Reuters Bouteflika was determined to create a "civil society" and limit the DRS' political influence.
"The DRS will continue to play its role, but it will no longer get involved in politics, including in the political parties, media and justice," Saidani said at FLN headquarters in Algiers' Hydra district.
Political changes in Algeria are closely monitored in Europe and the United States. Algeria is a major supplier of gas to Europe and a US partner in the fight against terrorism.
Bouteflika rose to power in 1999, and was re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009, after changes in the constitution which allowed him to stand for more than two terms.
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