Martyrs Square in Algiers
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Martyrs Square in Algiers
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Last updated: April 18, 2014

Former prisoners, PhDs and underground socialists - these are the six Algerian Presidential candidates

Banner Icon The Algerian Ministry of Interior estimates that there are more than 22 million voters in the country, and roughly another million Algerians living abroad. Today, they go to the polls to decide on the country’s next leader.

Despite that many consider the elections to be pre-determined, in favour of sitting President Bouteflika, we’d like to present the six official candidates:

Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Bouteflika, 77, came to power in 1999, since then he has been re-elected and amended the constitution to extend his time in power. He is often considered important for helping end Algeria's civil war in the 1990s, which killed around 200,000 people. However, the state of his health has been questioned after suffering from a stroke last year. He has rarely been seen in public and has not participated in the election campaign. His tenure has also been dogged by corruption scandals.

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Ali Benflis

Benflis, 69, is seen as the main challenger of Bouteflika’s fourth term. He used to be prime minister, but after he lost in the 2004 polls he disappeared from the political scene, only to re-emerge 10 years later. Benflis has served as a justice minister and is one of the founders of Algeria's League of Human Rights.

Louisa Hanoune

Hanoune, 59, is the only running woman. She is the leader of the leftist Workers Party and a member of parliament. Today she is running for the third time in a presidential election. She has a long background in Algerian politics and in the 1980s she was arrested twice while working for an underground socialist workers' association.

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Ali Fawzi Rebaine

Rebaine, 59, co-founded Algeria's first human rights organisation in 1985 and founded a national anti-torture panel. In 1985, he was accused of undermining state security and membership of an illegal association and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Two years later he was released after a presidential pardon.

Abdelaziz Belaid

Belaid, 50, is the youngest of the candidates and the only first time presidential elections runner. He is the head of the opposition el-Moustakbel Front, but was previously member of the ruling National Liberation Front, which he joined at an age of 23. Belaid has an academic background with a PhD in medicine and a degree in law.

Moussa Touati

Touati, 60, is the leader of the Algerian National Front, which he established in 1999. He has worked for the customs authority and is a former soldier trained in both Syria and Libya. Touati has participated in two past presidential elections.

Source: AFP

EDITOR'S PICK Jews and Muslims lived side by side in Algeria for hundreds of years. Here’s how it all changed.

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