Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Malawi: HIV-infected man paid to have sex with girls arrested

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Meet Omar, the 10-year-old chef who became a social media star

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gigantic snails are a delicacy in Ivory Coast

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

La vie en gris: The story behind France's famed rooftops

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Olympic refugee team goes for gold

Read more

FOCUS

Taiwan's nuclear dumping ground

Read more

ENCORE!

Greece: Creativity in a time of crisis

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French growth grinds to a halt over strikes

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Norway will 'move mountains' for Nordic neighbour Finland

Read more

Africa

Algerian president in rare appearance as election campaign ends

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-13

Algeria's ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika made a rare public appearance on Saturday on the second-to-last day of the country’s presidential campaign.

Bouteflika, 77, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office despite deteriorating health following a stroke last year.

He appeared only one other time before Saturday’s televised meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. This was in televised meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on April 3, in which he appeared frail, with his voice barely audible.

He used the occasion this weekend to accuse his main rival, former prime minister Ali Benfis, of fomenting violence on the campaign trail.

Farouk Atig, FRANCE 24’s special correspondent in the capital of Algiers, said that thousands of Bouteflika supporters were expected to participate in a major rally on Sunday closing the campaign.

“We have been told to expect a surprise,” Atig said. “That could mean an appearance of the president, or maybe recorded images of him that will be broadcast at the rally.”

Algerians will vote in a presidential election Thursday, with Bouteflika largely expected to win.

Benflis has repeatedly warned against electoral fraud, which he calls his "main adversary," and which he says defeated democracy in the 2004 election in which he ran.

The election is taking place amid unanswered questions about the position of the powerful army, in a country whose secretive military elite are often considered the real decision makers, and with signs that its leaders are sharply divided.

In February, a retired senior general urged Bouteflika to step down "with dignity," saying in an interview with El Watan that he was speaking on behalf of others in the armed forces.

Despite the often scathing criticism levelled against him in the independent media, Bouteflika remains popular with many Algerians, especially for helping to end the devastating civil war in the 1990s.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-04-13

  • ALGERIA

    Algerian Islamist banned from presidential poll awaits turn

    Read more

  • ALGERIA

    Algeria's Bouteflika makes rare appearance in talks with Kerry

    Read more

COMMENT(S)