Algeria ruling party mutiny reflects race for power

April 23, 2012 14:46

ALGIERS - The party at the heart of power since Algeria's independence from France is convulsed by an internal revolt that may be an early skirmish in the battle to succeed 75-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Less than a month before the National Liberation Front, known by its French initials FLN, competes in a parliamentary election, an influential faction within the party has tried to oust Secretary-General Abdelaziz Belkhadem.

Belkhadem is a close ally of Bouteflika and is viewed by many as a potential successor, despite opposition to this from other powerful forces within Algeria's ruling elite.

"I wonder if the crisis inside the FLN is not linked to the next presidential election, and that the target is Belkhadem as a potential candidate," political analyst and writer Abed Charef told Reuters.

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