(AFP) – Jan 15, 2009
ALGIERS (AFP) — One of Algeria's leading opposition parties pulled out of April's forthcoming presidential election Thursday, calling the vote "pathetic".
The secular Rally for Culture and Democracy party said it would not field a candidate in a vote it predicted would be a "national humiliation".
"Participating in such a competition would be tantamount to complicity in an operation of national humiliation," said RCD President Said Sadi during a party conference in Algiers.
In a statement on the party's website, he added the refusal to take part in "this pathetic and dangerous circus is in fact a dignified policy."
Algeria's parliament voted November 12 to abolish the mandatory limit of two presidential terms, with the 19-strong RCD being the only party to oppose the changes.
The 71-year-old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who came to power in 1999, has not specifically announced his intention to run again, but he is now expected to throw his hat into the ring once more.
Candidates who wish to contest the presidential elections in Algeria must garner at least 600 signatures from elected officials and 75,000 from voters.
Bouteflika's Presidential Alliance party enjoys a comfortable majority in the Algerian parliament.
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