Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bouteflika to run for third term

Abdelaziz Bouteflika. File photo
Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in power since 1999

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has said he will seek a third term in elections in April.

"I announce my candidature as an independent," Mr Bouteflika told a crowd of cheering supporters in the capital Algiers.

Mr Bouteflika is widely tipped to win the elections.

Last November, the parliament passed a constitutional amendment abolishing a two-term limit for the president. The move was criticised by the opposition.

Opposition parties said the reform could destroy political pluralism.

Mr Bouteflika, a veteran of Algerian politics, was first elected in 1999.

He has overseen a return to relative peace, though there has been a series of suicide bombings over the last two years blamed on militants linked to al-Qaeda.

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