Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announces re-election campaign

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announces re-election campaign

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s president announced on Thursday that he intends to run for a second term in office, five years after ascending to power as the military and establishment-backed candidate amid widespread pro-democracy protests.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the 78-year-old political veteran, said in an interview on Algerian television that his decision came in response to support from political parties and young people.

The announcement comes after Tebboune avoided declaring his intentions for months following the setting of the Sept. 7 election date almost four months ago. His re-election for a second term would entrench the power of Algeria’s political and military elite and further distance the country from the aspirations voiced by the country’s “Hirak” movement, whose weekly street protests pressured the country’s ailing octogenarian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to resign after two decades in office.

Tebboune, a former prime minister under Bouteflika, emerged the victor in an election with a low turnout election in 2019. Protestors boycotted it and decried it as a rushed affair designed to maintain the old regime’s grip on power over the gas-rich North African nation with a population of 45 million.

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