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Algeria: Bouteflika to run for 4th term

Bouteflika’s nomination comes after a shakeup of the powerful department of intelligence

Published: Updated:

Algeria’s ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was officially nominated on Saturday as his party’s candidate for the president in the 2014 election, the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) said.

“The central committee has chosen the president of the party, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to be the FLN candidate in the next presidential election,” said a party statement issued after a meeting in the capital.

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 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 U.S. 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.

Boutefika was recently in Paris for health issues, rising concerns over his ability to run for a new term.

(With AFP)