Bouteflika

Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has won a fourth term in office taking more than 81% of the vote, the interior minister has said.

The 77-year-old leader, who suffered a stroke last year and rarely appears in public, cast his vote in a wheelchair in Thursday’s presidential election.

He beat his five other opponents without personally campaigning.

Turnout was said to be 51.7% of the country’s 23 million registered voters, down from the 75% in 2009.

A coalition of Islamist and secular opposition parties had called for a boycott, describing the election as a sham and saying Mr Bouteflika was unfit to run because of his health problems.

Three other presidential candidates pulled out of the race soon after Mr Bouteflika’s candidacy was announced, saying the result would be a foregone conclusion.

Fireworks explode in the sky as supporters of Abdelaziz Bouteflika celebrate in Algiers on 17 April 2014Supporters of the president were already celebrating his victory on Thursday evening
Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, casts his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on 17 April 2014Ali Benflis alleged there were serious irregularities during Thursday’s vote

His re-election bid also spawned a protest movement called Barakat, meaning “Enough”, which has been holding small demonstrations around the country.

‘Transparent and neutral’

Mr Bouteflika’s main challenger, Ali Benflis, received 12% of the vote, Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz said.

“The people have chosen freely, in a climate that was transparent and neutral,” the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.

Algeria’s election results

  • Abdelaziz Bouteflika: 81.53%
  • Ali Benflis: 12.18%
  • 23m registered voters
  • 51.7% turnout

Source: Algeria’s interior ministry

Mr Benflis, who ran Mr Bouteflika’s campaign in 1999, has rejected the result , alleging “serious irregularities”.

Correspondents say supporters of the president were already celebrating his victory on Thursday evening, with fireworks in the capital Algiers.

Mr Bouteflika took office in 1999 when Algeria was still caught up in a civil war between the military and Islamist militants, and has been credited by supporters for curbing the conflict and restoring some economic stability.

He scrapped constitutional rules in 2008 limiting him to two terms in office, and won elections the following year with 90% of the vote.

1 COMMENT

  1. I went to GSS Nyasoso between 1980-1985. I am also a ntvaie of Nyasoso so I saw Tom’s effect even for those who were not his students. Tom taught me biology from form 3 onwards. As Eric mentioned, part of what captivated us was the way he brought the subject to life. In forms 1&2 we were taught biology by a teacher who had been trained in history/geography. All learning was based on textbook / notes. It was Tom who realized that the point of teaching kids about flowering plants was to actually pick up a hibiscus flower and show us all the parts (instead of looking at textbook pictures). Let me take you a little back at the first time I saw Tom outside the classroom.He had recently arrived in Nyasoso and went to the presbyterian church. There is a tradition in the presbyterian church during offering where they place a little basket at the front of the church and the congregation forms a procession as each person drops his/her offering (usually coins) in the basket. It is a joyful affair, with music and druming as the procession claps and sways to the music as they walk by the basket. It was apparent that Tom was not quite aware of what was actually going on, but he could not let a joyful occasion go to waste, so he got up and joined the procession, clapping and swaying to the music. As he got near the offering basket he realized everyone was dropping coins in the little basket. He stopped short, dipped one hand in his pocket but it came out empty. The other hand also came out empty from its own pocket. I watched him shrug it off, and continued his little dance with the procession back to his seat. The Nyasoso people took an immediate liking to him.Since Tom left Nyasoso there have been many other peace corps volunteers who have gone there. They have all heard about Tom de Boor. They have all fallen victim to being compared (unfair to them I might say) with Tom de Boor. Even today people in Nyasoso still talk about Tom de Boor. I think it is more than just his skills as a teacher (which is what we his students saw). I think it is more than his dancing skills ( that boy can dance [meaning that young man is a very good dancer] as my mother put it after she saw him in Taval bar). I think it was because he connected with us on human level. He was our teacher, our friend, and our neighbor.A few days ago I watched the speech president Kennedy gave to the first group of PCVs. As I watched and listened to the president it seemed to me like he was using Tom’s experience as a template of what he expected from the young volunteers. We’re glad you came to Nyasoso when you came Tom. We’re all better for it. To you, sir, I say happy birthday.

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