Amer Ouali, AFP
Last updated: 18 April, 2014

Bouteflika set to win as Algeria awaits vote result

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose poor health forced him to vote from a wheelchair in Algeria’s presidential election, has won a fourth term with 81.53 percent of the votes, the interior minister announced Friday.

The 77-year-old incumbent’s main rival, Ali Benflis, received 12.18 percent in an election which saw 51.78 percent of Algerians cast their ballots, Tayeb Belaiz told a news conference.

“The people have chosen freely, in a climate that was transparent and neutral,” Belaiz insisted.

Benflis has already rejected the result, alleging “massive fraud” and “serious irregularities” across the country on polling day, which was also marred by violent anti-vote protests in the eastern Kabylie region that left some 70 people wounded.

The youngest candidate, Abdelaziz Belaid, came third with 3.03 percent of the vote, followed by the only female candidate Louisa Hanoune, who mustered 1.37 percent.

The two other candidates, Ali Fawzi Rebaine and Moussa Touati both won less than one percent.

The election, in which turnout was sharply down compared to the previous one after the opposition called for a boycott, comes a year after Bouteflika suffered a stroke which confined him to hospital for three months and prevented him from campaigning for re-election in person.