Algeria’s Bouteflika to seek re-election in 2019: party chief

Algeria’s frail President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, will stand for a fifth term at elections next year. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 29 October 2018
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Algeria’s Bouteflika to seek re-election in 2019: party chief

ALGIERS: Algeria’s frail President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, will stand for a fifth term at elections next year, the head of his party said Sunday.
National Liberation Front chief Djamel Ould Abbes said Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in 2013, would be the party’s candidate at the vote set for April 2019, state news agency APS reported.
“Bouteflika... is the candidate of the FLN for the presidential election,” Ould Abbes was quoted as saying at a meeting with lawmakers from the party.
“His candidacy has been demanded by all the FLN cadres and activists across the country,” he said.
The FLN central committee will meet soon to formalize the candidacy, Ould Abbes’ chief of staff Nadir Boulegroune told AFP.
Bouteflika, 81, has yet to announce his candidacy officially.
The veteran leader has been weak since suffering the 2013 stroke, which diminished his mobility and forced him to work from his residence in Zeralda, west of the capital Algiers.
He has since traveled abroad several times to undergo medical treatment in France and Switzerland.
The president only makes rare public appearances, during which he is usually seen sitting in a wheelchair.
Rumours often swirl in Algeria about the state of the president’s health.
But ahead of next year’s presidential poll, Bouteflika’s camp has for months been preparing the ground for him to claim a fresh term.


Netanyahu defends Gaza ceasefire after Israeli criticism

Updated 14 November 2018
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Netanyahu defends Gaza ceasefire after Israeli criticism

  • ‘Our enemies begged for a ceasefire and they knew very well why’
  • The deal has provoked criticism from within Netanyahu’s government

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended his decision to accept a ceasefire after the worst escalation with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war.
“In times of emergency, when making decisions crucial to security, the public can’t always be privy to the considerations that must be hidden from the enemy,” he said at a ceremony in honor of Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion.
“Our enemies begged for a ceasefire and they knew very well why.”
The deal has provoked criticism from within Netanyahu’s government as well as from Israelis who live near the Gaza Strip and want further action against its Islamist rulers Hamas.