Algerian president holds get-out-the-vote rallies

March 25, 2009 22:31

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Wednesday reached out to ethnic minorities in Algeria's often-turbulent Kabylie region at a get-out-the-vote rally before upcoming presidential elections. The Algerian leader called on his compatriots to solve their differences through voting rather than fighting. The country has been slowly emerging from an insurgency that broke out in 1992. Bouteflika said "participation is at stake" in a rally Wednesday in Jijel. He has been president since 1999, and is seen as a favorite to win the vote April 9. Supportive lawmakers changed the constitution last year to allow him to seek a third term. Turnout could suffer from voter apathy and calls by Bouteflika's opponents for a boycott.

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