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Archive for Saturday, April 11, 2009

President re-elected, but fraud alleged

April 11, 2009

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— President Abdelaziz Bouteflika hailed his landslide re-election for a third term as a “lesson in democracy” on Friday, but opposition politicians and independent media alleged fraud at the polls, and the U.S. government expressed concern.

Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni said Bouteflika won 90.24 percent of votes in Thursday’s election. Opponents had called for a boycott of the vote, which was marred by six terror attacks, one of which left a police officer dead, and unrest that left several polling stations burned.

Authorities put the turnout at more than 74 percent — unusually high for Algeria. Nearly 13 million of Algeria’s 20 million registered voters cast their ballot for the president, Zerhouni said.

“This truly is an eloquent lesson in democracy,” Bouteflika said in remarks carried by the official APS news agency shortly after results were announced. He thanked Algerians for the “precious confidence” vote they granted him.

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