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Algeria’s president pulls out of race for 5th term

Updated March 12, 2019

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Bouteflika said the presidential poll would follow a national conference on political and constitutional reforms. — AFP/File
Bouteflika said the presidential poll would follow a national conference on political and constitutional reforms. — AFP/File

ALGIERS: Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal on Monday from a bid to win another term in office and postponed an April 18 election, following weeks of protests against his candidacy.

Bouteflika, in a message carried by national news agency APS, said the presidential poll would follow a national conference on political and constitutional reform to be carried out by the end of 2019.

The veteran leader, who has been in power since 1999 but whose rare public appearances since a stroke in 2013 have been in a wheelchair, returned Sunday from hospital in Switzerland.

Demonstrations against his bid for another fifth term in office have brought tens of thousands of protesters onto Algeria’s streets.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019