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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 14:40 GMT
Algeria leader seeks second term
President Bouteflika
Bouteflika faces growing dissent
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has announced he will seek re-election in April.

The government El Moujahid newspaper quoted the president as saying he would like to continue his economic reforms.

Mr Bouteflika is viewed as favourite to win against the former prime minister and one-time confidante, Ali Benfliss, and Islamic contender Djab Allah.

President Bouteflika came to power five year ago when he stood as sole candidate after an opposition boycott.

President Bouteflika is credited with having brought a degree of security and economic stability to a country in which 150,000 people have died in a decade of civil unrest.

However, his critics say that while suppressing Islamic rebels, the president has also used his position to increase his personal hold on power.

Opposition figures have formed a "front against fraud," on the look-out for any manipulation of April's elections.

Disgruntled Berber groups in the troubled Kabylie region have already vowed to boycott the poll.

Berbers to boycott Algerian poll
13 Feb 04  |  Africa
US pushes for fair Algerian poll
26 Jan 04  |  Africa
Call for Algerian leader to go
05 Jan 04  |  Africa
Country profile: Algeria
08 Sep 03  |  Country profiles

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