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Algeria awaits results of post-Bouteflika presidential elections

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Algerians on Friday were awaiting results of a contested presidential election, which was held amid protests in several cities, disruption of voting in some polling stations and a partial boycott of the poll.

Thursday’s election came eight months after April’s resignation of long-time ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika, following pressure by mass protests.

Since then, protests continued as people called for the departure of key Bouteflika-era officials and for an overhaul of the political system before an election was held.

Protesters took to the streets on Thursday in the capital Algiers and several eastern cities, while people stormed some polling stations and destroyed the ballots.

Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted in some areas.

Turnout stood at 41 per cent, according to Head of the Electoral Commission, Mohammed Sharafi.

Five contenders are vying for the presidency, including two former prime ministers.

Protesters have criticised the five hopefuls, saying they were once part of or aligned with Bouteflika’s rule.

Bouteflika ruled OPEC-member Algeria for two decades, an era that was dominated by cronyism and mismanagement.

Edited by: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim

(NAN)

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