Friday, April 16, 1999 Published at 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
World: Middle East
Algerian fury over poll result
Police moved to break up a demonstration in Algiers
Police in the Algerian capital, Algiers, have charged several hundred demonstrators protesting against the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as president.
Opposition factions had called a rally for Friday to protest against the result, but the authorities warned that any such protests were illegal.
Official figures put the turn-out at just over 60% - with 73.8% of the votes cast going to Mr Bouteflika.
Earlier on Friday, Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi, one of six candidates who withdrew, confirmed their stated intention to reject the result.
"If Abdelaziz Bouteflika takes office he will have no constitutional legality," Mr Ibrahimi told a news conference.
The BBC correspondent in Algiers, Jim Muir, says Mr Bouteflika's victory may prove to be a hollow one and his first task will be defusing the complications ensuing from the election itself.
Bouteflika: Backed by army
Mr Bouteflika was backed by the military which intervened to prevent an Islamist victory in general elections seven years ago.
Speaking before the poll on Thursday, Mr Bouteflika appealed for a large turnout - almost certainly aware that his administration could be fatally wounded by poor voting figures.
"I want the Algerian people to pronounce themselves with very great clarity and with a substantial majority so we can introduce the necessary changes," he said.
One of the candidates who withdrew, Mouloud Hamrouche, said in a newspaper article that voting had been "extremely low in the major cities".
The lowest official turnout was 5.11%, in the province of Tizi Ouzou, east of Algiers, which is a stronghold of another of the candidates who pulled out, Hocine Ait Ahmed.
Turnout in the capital, Algiers, was put at 31.27%.
President Zeroual, who is stepping down 19 months early, criticised the six candidates for pulling out and called their decision "totally illegal".