Algeria's Islamists to boycott April elections, say leaders "trump will of the people"
Algeria's former Prime Minister Ali Benflis announced earlier last week that he will be running in April's election (Farouk Batiche/AFP)
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Algeria's main Islamist party announced Saturday that they will boycott the country's upcoming elections, according to Agence France Presse.
Chief Abderrazak Mokri from The Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) told reporters Saturday that his party has decided to forego participation in the April 17 election because of "the lack of real opportunity for political reform, the monopoly of those currently in power over the election and the fact that political demands for transparency are ignored."
Mokri added that Algeria's authorities are trying to "trump the will of the people to freely choose who governs."
Mokri's announcement came after two days of heated debate within the MSP on whether or not to participate in the April elecitons.
Algeria's ruling party, the National Liberation Front (FLN) has named the ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as their candidate for the upcoming election, but the 76-year-old leader who has been in power for the past 14 years has still not declared his candidacy officially.
The MSP had previously been allied with Bouteflika until December 2012 when they released a statement saying that the country was "heading for disaster" if Bouteflika won a fourth term.