- Algerian authorities have condemned the raising of a black flag by the country’s opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) outside its offices ahead of the polls next Thursday. However, RCD has defended the flag saying it has declare the election day as a day for mourning Algerian democracy.
The RCD has withdrawn from the elections claiming the elections were already rigged for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after the Algeria's constitution was changed to allow Mr Bouteflika to run for a third term.
The elections have come under spotlight and criticisms from both the opposition and local and international rights organisations because of the controversial amendment passed in November.
According to the party’s statement, the election will offer an opportunity for the president to cement his seat in government. President Bouteflika will be running for elections as a independent candidate.
The RCD also accused the state treasury of serving as a personal financier for Mr Bouteflika's campaign. In March presidential candidates had also accused the government of delaying to release the campaign funds saying the delay was in favour of the president.
Analysts expect Mr Bouteflika to easily beat his five rivals for office. He won the 1999 election against no opponents, and was re-elected in 2004 with 85 percent of the votes.
Mr Bouteflika has been campaigning on the platform of the national reconciliation drive he launched when he first took office in 1999 and has offered an amnesty to Muslim fundamentalists who "repent" and surrender.
The 71-year-old president, a veteran of Algerian politics has overseen a return to relative peace, though there has been a series of suicide bombings over last two years blamed on militants linked to al-Qaeda.
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