Algeria on Friday announced a presidential election for April 18 without indicating whether veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika would stand, following calls for his nomination by a loyal ruling caste of businessmen, trade unions and the military.
The 81-year old leader, who has been in office since 1999 and rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, has now 45 days to say whether he wants to seek a fifth term.
Under the constitution the election date was made necessary by the expiry in April of Bouteflika’s fourth term.
Algeria’s ruling coalition and other leading figures in labor unions and the business world had previously urged him to run again for the presidency.
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