Bouteflika challenger says upcoming presidential elections in Algeria lack credibility
Ten individuals have registered thus far to participate in Algeria's presidential elections that are set for April 17, according to Agence France Presse Wednesday.
Algerian public radio reported that the Constitutional Council has 10 days to review the candidates' applications before they will announce the final list of contenders for the presidency.
The current 77-year-old incumbent leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who registered his bid for a fourth term yesterday, is expected to win the April election. The Algerian leader's bid has come under increased scrutiny, with many citizens citing his ailing health as reason for him to hand over his 15 year reign in power.
Bouteflika suffered a stroke last year, and has only made rare public appearances since his illness forced him to be hospitalized in Paris for two months. Bouteflika's confirmation of his candidacy on television Tuesday this week represents the first time he has spoken in public since his stroke last year.
Other individuals that registered for the upcoming elections include former prime minister Ali Benflis, Mohamed Benhamou, Algerian National Front's Moussa Touati, El Moustakbel Front's Abdelaziz Belaid, Algerian Rally head Ali Zaghdoud and Worker's Party candidate, Louisa Hanoune.
Benflis is considered "Bouteflika's main challenger," but has spoken publicly of the likeliness of electoral fraud, saying that "low, dirty and cowardly practices cast doubts on the credibility of the presidential election".
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