Presidential Elections Under Way in Algeria

World | April 17, 2014, Thursday // 13:56
Bulgaria: Presidential Elections Under Way in Algeria Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (C), who is seeking a fourth term, casts his ballot paper at a polling station in Algiers, Algeria, 17 April 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Algerians are casting their ballots on Thursday in a presidential vote that might lead Abdelaziz Bouteflika to become head of state for the fifth time.

Security has been stepped up across the country, with over 260 000 policemen protecting the 50 000 polling booths, Al Jazeera has reported.

Low turnout is expected among the 23 million people eligible to vote.

The opposition has repeatedly called on citizens to boycott the elections as they say the vote could be rigged in favour of the 77-year-old Bouteflika.

Algeria's current President was announced to be a candidate back in February, but speculations have been arising over his ability to govern since he suffered a mini-stroke in 2013.

The youth protest group Barakat (Enough) was founded two months ago and calls occasional protests against Bouteflika's rule. The President, however, is considered to be popular among many voters.

Since South Sudan officially became independent from Sudan in 2011, Algeria is the largest country in Africa.

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Tags: Algeria, elections, Bouteflika, Barakat

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