March 4, 2019 / 12:06 PM / 6 months ago

France notes Bouteflika candidacy, says up to Algerian people to decide future

FILE PHOTO: Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looks at journalists after casting his ballot during the parliamentary election in Algiers, Algeria, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

PARIS (Reuters) - France has taken note of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run in Algeria’s elections in April and hopes that the vote takes place in the best possible conditions, said the French foreign ministry on Monday.

“It is up to the Algerian people to decide on whom it chooses as its leaders and up to the Algerian people to decide on its own future,” said the foreign ministry in a statement during an electronic news briefing.

Algerian President Bouteflika, facing mass protests over his 20 years in power, will run in April’s elections, his campaign manager said on Sunday, with Ennahar TV saying he had offered to step down after a year if re-elected.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Toby Chopra

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