Algiers (AFP) Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s ruling party and its allies won local polls in which less than half the electorate took part, official results showed Friday. The National Liberation Front (FLN) was the victor in 603 out of 1,541 municipalities, 400 fewer than in the last polls in 2012, while the National Democratic Party (RDN) came out on top in 451 municipalities, an increase of 100. Less than half of the 22-million-strong electorate took part in Thursday’s vote for city councils and for 48 state legislatures, in which theRead More
Algiers (AFP) Algerians trickled to the polls Thursday to vote in local elections after a low-key campaign that has brought no expectation of change in the North African state. In a rare public outing, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is expected to seek a fifth term in office in 2019, appeared in a wheelchair to cast his ballot paper at a polling station in Algiers. Bouteflika, 80, who won a fourth term in 2014, has used a wheelchair for public appearances since a 2013 stroke. Dozens of political parties and fourRead More
Algiers (AFP) At the foot of the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah district in Algiers, the Ketchaoua Mosque has had a tumultuous past that, at one point, saw it turned into a cathedral under French rule. Now the ornate towers and arches are set for a new chapter as the majestic place of worship gets ready to open its doors for the first time in nearly a decade following a lengthy renovation. Once a symbol of Ottoman influence, it was known for more than a century as the Roman Catholic Saint PhilippeRead More
Algiers (AFP) French carmaker PSA signed a deal on Sunday with three Algerian firms to set up a car-manufacturing base in the North African country with production to begin next year. After two years of negotiations, the joint venture deal was inked at a ceremony attended by Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. The first Peugeot and Citroen models will roll off the assembly line next year at a plant in a suburb of Oran, 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Algiers. Under theRead More
Boujdour Camp (Algeria) (AFP) Selembouha Dadi can only imagine the homeland she dreams of but has never seen, agonisingly out of reach beyond the Algerian refugee camp where she has spent her whole life. “They tell me it was beautiful,” the 25-year-old told AFP. The territory that Dadi yearns for is Western Sahara, a sprawling swathe of desert on Africa’s Atlantic coast that has been disputed by Morocco and independence fighters from the Polisario Front for decades. Her father Moulay abandoned everything and fled 42 years ago when Moroccan troopsRead More
Tindouf (Algeria) (AFP) The new UN envoy for disputed Western Sahara, Horst Koehler, met leaders of an Algerian-backed independence movement Wednesday after visiting Morocco in a bid to get stalled peace talks back on track. Koehler, a former German president tasked by the United Nations in August with mediating the decades-old dispute, sat down with leaders from the pro-independence Polisario Front as he made his first trip to the refugee camps in Algeria where they are based. The meeting is part of a fresh push by the United Nations toRead More
Algiers (AFP) Ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who rarely appears in public, received Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday, the APS news agency reported. Russian and Algerian state media published pictures of the meeting, which was closed to other news outlets. Bouteflika, who is 80 and has held office since 1999, suffered a mini-stroke in 2013 that affected his speech and mobility. He has since used a wheelchair and is occasionally featured in state media receiving foreign dignitaries. In September, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid a 24-hour visit toRead More
Algiers (AFP) Three Algerian public figures including a former foreign minister said Sunday that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika “is no longer able to lead” and should be barred from seeking a fifth term. Bouteflika, who is 80 and has held office since 1999, won a fourth term in a 2014 election despite having suffered a mini-stroke the previous year that affected his speech and mobility. He has since used a wheelchair during his rare appearances in public. Members of his team have publicly suggested that he may run for a fifthRead More
Batna (Algeria) (AFP) By donating one of her kidneys, Nawel gave her husband Boubaker Ziani a new lease on life after he had undergone 16 years of dialysis. But in Algeria and across the entire Maghreb in North Africa, many people continue to suffer or die because of the lack of donors. Part of the problem lies with laws restricting the harvesting of human organs, coupled with cultural or religious reticence, despite Muslim theologians’ approval of organ donations. Ziani’s wife offered him a kidney after she saw that he hadRead More
Algiers (AFP) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited fellow OPEC member Algeria Monday for talks after announcing Caracas would sell crude oil in non-dollar currencies in a bid to resist US sanctions. Maduro arrived late Sunday in the North African country and met Senate speaker Abdelkader Bensalah on Monday to discuss oil policies, the Venezuelan government said. The Algerian presidency said Maduro and his hosts were to review the situation on world oil markets. The statements made no mention of whether he would meet his ailing Algerian counterpart President Abdelaziz Bouteflika,Read More