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Algeria's electoral loser alleges Bouteflika re-elected by fraud, dodgy money

Runner-up in April election publishes a 276-page tome alleging that Bouteflika won thanks to fraud, dodgy money and biased media
Ali Benflis, who used to be among Bouteflika's closest allies, has accused him of fraud on a massive scale (AFP)

Ali Benflis, the runner-up in Algeria’s presidential election of April, has published a “White Paper on Fraud”, in which he alleges that President Bouteflika’s re-election was the inevitable result of huge and systematic fraud.

Benflis’s White Paper, the full text of which is available online in Arabic here and in French here, consists of nine chapters with titles like “Fraud during the election campaign” and “Fraud during voting.”

The 276-page book begins with an accusation from Benflis that “the results that were announced were prepared, planned and effected by a coalition bearing three names: rigging, dodgy money and media outlets working at the beck and call of this dodgy money".

Benflis, who previously served as Algeria’s Prime Minister between 2001 and 2003, includes in his book a number of scanned documents which he claims show documents from the electoral commission as well as “clearly forged” counting slips from a number of polling stations.

The publication comes some six months after Algeria’s recent presidential election, during which Abdelaziz Bouteflika was re-elected by a landslide majority of 81.5 percent.

Benflis came out as the runner-up, having secured 12.18 percent of votes cast in a poll monitored by observers from the Arab League and African Union missions.

Turnout in the April election was just above 50 percent, a significant fall on 2009 figures.

Just a week after the results were announced by Algeria’s foreign minister, the runner-up announced his intention to publish a book about fraud during the campaign.

In the book, he alleges that he lost the election not because he failed to garner enough votes, but because ballots cast for him were blocked.

A spokesperson for Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front denied the allegations put forward by Benflis, calling them “absolutely political".

Previously considered one of Bouteflika’s closest allies, Benflis ran his 1999 presidential campaign, and was then appointed general secretary to the presidency before rising to the post of Prime Minister.

The split between the men came in 2004, when Benflis announced his intention to run against Bouteflika in the presidential election.

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