Iran Eyes Better Ties with Algeria under New President

Iran Eyes Better Ties with Algeria under New President
Abdelmadjid Tebboune garnered 58 per cent of the votes in Algerian elections, according to preliminary results / Photo by Reuters

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has expressed pleasure with the successful holding of presidential elections in Algeria, hoping for enhanced ties under the new president.

In a statement on Saturday, Mousavi offered his congratulations to the Algerian nation and government, and described their elections as a major step to realize democracy, development, and prosperity in a calm atmosphere.

He also expressed hope that bilateral relations between Iran and Algeria would deepen and develop during the new president’s term in office.

Former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune was declared the winner of Algeria’s presidential election.

Tebboune – who also served as housing minister under Abdelaziz Bouteflika – the former president forced to step down in April following mass protests – won 58.15 percent of Thursday’s vote, according to preliminary results announced on Friday.

The 74-year-old’s closest rival, Abdelkader Bengrina, came second with 17.38 percent. Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis was third, with 10.55 percent, while former Minister of Culture Azzedine Mihoubi came in fourth place, with 7.26 percent. Abdelaziz Belaid, the head of el Moustakbal party, obtained 6.66 percent.

On Friday, huge crowds gathered in Algiers to protest against the election, denouncing it as a “sham” because of the links of all five presidential candidates to the former president and the ruling elite.

Authorities said 40 percent of voters had taken part in Thursday’s election, which state media cast as a high enough turnout to vindicate the decision to hold the poll, in spite of protesters’ call for a boycott.

Weekly protests that toppled Bouteflika have not stopped, with demonstrators demanding the entire ruling elite cede power to a new generation, despite no obvious leader emerging to represent them. The protesters refer to themselves simply as “Hirak”, or “the movement”.

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