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Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika re-elected for fourth term

By Kyle Johnson,

Algeria announced on Friday that ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika overwhelmingly won re-election according to preliminary results.

Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in 2013 and is 77 years old, won with 81 percent of the vote, easily winning in a landslide over his main opponent Ali Benflis, who got 12 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press.

Of the country's 23 million registered voters, election officials say that only about 51.7 percent showed up to cast their ballot. That number is a huge drop from 2009's election, which saw 75 percent of registered voters show up.
Over Bouteflika's four elections, he has managed to garner between 75 and 90 percent of the vote each time. The numbers have always been contested by his political opponents.

After the preliminary results were announced, Benflis rejected the vote, reports AFP. "Recognizing it would be complicit in fraud," he said. He insisted the results were because of "an alliance between fraud, suspicious money and the bought media."

The AP notes Interior Minister Taieb Belaiz dismissed Benflis' complaints noting it would be difficult to commit fraud due to how they count the vote. After explaining the procedure he said, "Anyone who can overcome all that, I salute their intelligence."

Younger citizens in the North African country haven't been all that happy with the country's direction with Bouteflika in power due to corruption, high unemployment and other issues. Rachid Tiemcani, a political analyst, predicted that Bouteflika's re-election could lead to increased instability in the nation as wall as "social discontent that will get worse."

 

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