Algerian opposition figures hope to find joint candidate

Posted at 6:19 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 06:19:12-05

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Sectors of Algeria's diverse political opposition are meeting to secure a joint candidate to face incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the April 18 presidential election.

Abdallah Djaballah, president of Algeria's Justice and Development Front, an Islamist party, called for Wednesday's opposition meeting to devise a common political platform for the opposition groups.

Former heads of government Ali Benflis and Ahmed Benbitour, as well as moderate Islamist party leader Abderrazak Makri, are set to attend alongside representatives from some smaller political parties.

Many senior opposition figures, however, will be noticeably absent from the meeting. Some plan to boycott the poll altogether amid accusations that the political deck is already stacked in favor of Bouteflika, who's been in power since the 1990s.