Abdel Aziz Bouteflika has won a landslide victory in Algeria’s presidential election.
But opposition leaders claimed the vote had been tarnished by massive fraud. The result announced by interior minister Noureddine Zehrouni gave President Bouteflika 90 per cent of votes cast on a participation rate of 74 per cent, up by 15 per cent on the previous election in 2004. But the opposition Front of Socialist Forces, who had called for a boycott, claimed turnout had been exaggerated thanks to “fraud on an industrial scale”. Supporters of 72 year old Bouteflika credit him with bringing stability to the country after a period of turbulent civil conflict in which more than 150 000 people were killed. “I am very happy,” says this woman. “He is the man who suits us, he is the president for us.” But this Algiers resident says he doesn’t believe in politics any more, arguing that the political classes have been overtaken and are incapable of solving the profound problems of the country. Bouteflika is now set for a third five year mandate as Algeria’s president – he was first elected in 1999.