World Bulletin / News Desk
Algerian Islamist leader Abderrazzak Makri said Thursday that there were indicators that the ruling regime had agreed on a successor to long-serving President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika amid speculation that the latter would be unable to run for a fourth term in office for health reasons.
"It appears that plans for a fourth presidential term for Bouteflika will not see the light," Makri, head of the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP), Algeria's largest Islamist party, told AA. "And [Bouteflika's poor] health condition has played a key role in that."
"There are indications that leaders of the ruling regime have agreed to field another presidential candidate," he added.
The 76-year-old Algerian president suffered a health crisis last April, spending three months in France for medical treatment. Since his return, his regular activities have steadily declined.
Bouteflika was elected for a third term in office in 2009, securing an overwhelming 90.2 percent of the vote, according to official results.
Until now, the longtime leader has not announced an intention to run in April elections, although he was officially nominated by the ruling National Liberation Front Party with the support of allied parties and movements.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal declared that a date for presidential elections would be announced within one week.
Observers speculate that Sellal himself could be among those nominated to succeed Bouteflika.
Makri, for his part, agreed, but maintained that other names were being considered.
He went on to say that the opposition had been deliberating for a week with a view to reaching consensus on its own presidential candidate for the upcoming polls.
The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated MSP is a key member of Algeria's Group of Twenty, an opposition alliance led by former premier Ahmed Benbitour.
Benbitour himself, along with 14 other political figures, have announced their intention to run in upcoming elections.Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2014, 16:45