Presidential election held in Algeria
18,094,555 voters are going to the polls on Thursday to elect their 8th president of Algeria since independence. Voters are to choose between Louisa Hanoune, Ali Benflis, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Saad Abdallah Djaballah, Ali Fawzi Rebaine and Said Sadi.
Louisa Hanoune is the first lady in Algeria to stand for a presidential election since the start of multi party system in 1989.
During the electoral campaign, two tendencies have emerged: the first one defended by candidate Bouteflika, advocating "continuity" for the work started in his first term of office in 1999; the second one backed by his five rivals, putting forward "change" and its advantages, the APS reported.
39,627 polling stations were opened over 9,806 voting centres, supervised by 280,000 scrutineers, chosen with the approval of the candidates' representatives.
Algerian electors abroad have started voting on Saturday. Mobile polling stations started welcoming nomads of the far south on Monday, exactly 72 hours before the start of the election, and two landlocked desert regions since Tuesday.
125 foreign observers, representing the United Nations, African Union, Arab league, European Parliament, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, invited officially, have made it to Algeria late in March to supervise the electoral process.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)