Algeria declares former PM Tebboune winner of presidential election

Protesters say the contest between five officially sanctioned candidates to replace ousted leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika was an illegitimate sham. (File/AFP)
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Updated 13 December 2019

Algeria declares former PM Tebboune winner of presidential election

  • Abdelmadjid Tebboune had won Thursday's presidential election with 58 percent of the vote
  • Authorities said 40 percent of voters took part in Thursday’s election

ALGIERS: Algeria's electoral body said on Friday that former prime minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune had won Thursday's presidential election with 58 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results.
The final voter turnout was 40 percent, the electoral body's head said in a televised news conference in Algiers.

Thousands of demonstrators were expected to take to the streets of Algeria on Friday to denounce a presidential election they reject as a charade to keep the ruling elite in power.
The authorities, including the powerful army, argue that the only way to move the country forward after demonstrators brought down Bouteflika in a popular uprising in April is to elect a successor.
But weekly protests that toppled Bouteflika have not stopped, with demonstrators demanding the entire ruling elite cede power to a new generation, despite no obvious leader emerging to represent them. The protesters refer to themselves simply as “Hirak,” or “the movement.”
All five candidates were former senior officials, including two ex-prime ministers, two former ministers and a former member of the ruling party’s central committee.
Protesters marched in cities and towns across Algeria throughout Thursday’s election, in some places clashing with police, who tried to disperse them with baton charges.
Late on Thursday, the election body said some 9 million Algerians took part in the election.
“The turnout is satisfying and it will give the new president enough backing to implement his reforms,” said Ahmed Mizab, a commentator on state television, saying it showed the decision to hold the elections was “propitious and right.”
But Riad Mekersi, 24, who has participated in all the Hirak protests since Feb. 22 in Algiers, said the movement will continue no matter who wins.
“We have toppled Bouteflika, and we will topple all the system’s men. We won’t give up,” he said.
Even without questions over his legitimacy, the next president faces difficult times.
Nearly all Algerian state revenues come from oil and gas exports, which have declined in both price and volume in recent years. The government has already approved a 2020 budget with a 9 percent cut in public spending, though politically sensitive subsidies remain untouched.


Arab coalition and WHO set up air bridge to evacuate sick Yemenis

Updated 28 January 2020

Arab coalition and WHO set up air bridge to evacuate sick Yemenis

  • Patients will be transferred to Egypt and Jordan to receive treatment
  • The operation is called “Flights of Mercy”

RIYADH: The Arab coalition and World Health Organization are to establish an air bridge to evacuate sick and injured Yemenis.

Patients will be transferred to Egypt and Jordan to receive treatment, coalition spokesman Col Turki Al-Maliki said on Monday. 

The operation named “Flights of Mercy” is “in line with the coalition’s humanitarian efforts to support the brotherly people of Yemen, to ease the struggle of those sick and patients with incurable diseases,” he said.