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Two Candidates For Algeria Presidential Poll

  •  World
Time Magazine

Algeria's Constitutional Council said Sunday that two candidates have registered for the country's disputed July 4 presidential election, hours after public radio reported that a deadline had passed without any candidacy, The New Arab reports

The poll is strongly opposed by protesters who reject any vote held under authorities they say are tarnished by corruption from the rule of ousted leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

But Algeria's rulers have been determined to hold the ballot on July 4, seeing it as the only way out of a crisis that forced Bouteflika to quit in April after weeks of protests.

The deadline for registration passed at midnight on Saturday.

The Constitutional Council said in a statement that it had received the files of two candidates, Abdelhakim Hamadi and Hamid Touahri, both unknown figures. No major party has nominated a candidate.

The two appear unlikely to collect the signatures of 60,000 voters needed to validate a candidacy in Algerian elections.

Public radio said earlier that no candidates had registered on time.

A retired general and former activist of the president's National Liberation Front (FLN), Banzahia Lakhdar, had withdrawn at the last moment, public radio said.

Another obstacle to a July 4 election is that some mayors and magistrates have said they would not take part in organising the polls.

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