Algeria’s electoral authority on Saturday announced the name of the candidates who will be contesting the presidential election set for next month, reported France 24.
The election authority announced the upcoming election will be contested by five candidates, who all part of the ruling elite linked to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The list includes the names of former Prime Ministers Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Ali Benflis, former Culture Minister Azzedine Mihoubi, former Tourism Minister Abdelkader Bengrine and Abdelaziz Belaid, head of the El Mostakbal Movement party.
While addressing reporters in the capital, Algiers on Sunday, Mohamed Chorfi, the head of the electoral body, said the final list of candidates for the December 12 poll will be passed to the constitutional council for final validation. He ensured the people of a free and fair election.
“There will be full transparency in the handling of the presidential election,” Chorfi said in his announcement.
A total of 23 candidates had applied but only five made the final list. 17 candidates were rejected as they did not meet the conditions stated in the electoral law which include collecting signatures from 25 of the country’s 48 provinces. The rejected list includes the name of former minister Belkacem Sahli, one of the top supporters of Bouteflika’s candidacy for the fifth term. The rejected applicants will be allowed to file appeals.
The Algerian army and the authorities are backing the upcoming election saying that vote would be the only way to get the country out of a crisis since the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April under pressure from protesters.
The protesters continue with the weekly demonstrations to reject the election, saying it will not be fair as some of the former president Bouteflika’s allies are still in power. They demand the departure of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.