Algeria: Former PM Ali Benflis & several others announce candidacies for presidential elections
Sixteen Algerian political figures including former Prime Minister Ali Benflis have unveiled their plans to run for the December 12 presidential elections announced few days ago by interim President and backed by the army.
The candidates have reportedly withdrawn the candidacy forms at the independent electoral commission.
Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah last week set December 12 as a date for the long awaited presidential election. It is the second date proposed for the elections following the resignation of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika early April. The first date, July 4, was scrapped over lack of candidates with required endorsements.
Recent laws adopted by the Algerian parliament require that presidential hopefuls should receive 50,000 endorsements from sympathizers across 25 provinces.
The Algerian army led by Chief of Staff General Ahmed Gaid Salah has been pressing for the holding of the elections despite fierce opposition by thousands of Algerians who have been calling for an overhaul of the regime, including Gaid’s dismissal.
Benflis was the country’s Premier from 2000 to 2003. Other presidential candidates include Abdelkader Bengrina, a former tourism minister.