Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika is set for a landslide win in his country’s election.
Early indications show five other candidates on the ballot pose no serious challenge to his leadership. This means the 72 year-old veteran of Algeria’s war for independence from France will be in power for for a third term. Turnout was very high at over 74 per cent. This was not only a sign of Bouteflika’s popularity but also a rejection of opposition calls to boycott the election. Supporters say Bouteflika deserves credit for steering his country to stability after a conflict with Islamic extremists killed at least 150,000. Bouteflika’s ability to retain support matters to the outside world. Algeria has the world’s 15th biggest oil reserves and accounts for 20 per cent of the EU’s gas imports. Algeria suffers from a lingering Islamist insurgency. A bomb attack east of the capital injured two policemen yesterday.