World Bulletin / News Desk
Incumbent Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a fourth consecutive five-year term as president with 81.53 percent of the vote in Thursday's presidential polls, Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz said Friday.
"The vote count shows that… Bouteflika secured 8.3 million votes, representing 81.53 percent of the vote," Belaiz told a press conference in Algiers.
Former prime minister Ali Benflis came in second with 1.24 million votes (12.1 percent), followed by Abdelaziz Belaid with 343,624 votes (3.36 percent), according to Belaiz.
He stressed, however, that these figures were preliminary results, adding that a final tally would be announced later by the Algerian Constitutional Council.
According to the minister, voter turnout stood at 51.1 percent, representing some 11.3 million of roughly 22.9 million eligible voters.
Bouteflika, 77, who cast his ballot from a wheelchair on Thursday, had been widely expected to win the election despite widespread concerns about the state of his health and opposition calls for a new head of state.
Rival rejects Algeria poll results
Algerian presidential hopeful Ali Benflis said Friday that he would not recognize preliminary poll results giving incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika a landslide 81.5 percent of the vote.
"I don't recognize the poll results and will protest using all political and peaceful means [possible]," Benflis told a press conference at his campaign headquarters in Algiers.
"I was not defeated in a fair electoral race," he added.
Benflis accused the interior minister – along with Algeria's constitutional council – of fixing the poll in Bouteflika's favor.
"The [constitutional] council dropped the stipulation that candidates must have the mental and physical ability to run the country," he said, in reference to concerns about Bouteflika's health condition.
"Even the interior minister, who says there is no evidence of electoral fraud, had headed a committee to support Bouteflika's [presidential] campaign," Benflis added.
"Democracy is the only way out for Algeria; this is a corrupt regime… These [preliminary vote] figures are an insult to the people," he asserted.
Benflis went on to say that he planned to launch a new political party that would bring together all those who support his platform for Algeria.Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2014, 12:41