Presidential hopeful Ali Benflis said Tuesday that thousands of his supporters would monitor Algeria’s election, vowing to protest if it is rigged in favour of ailing incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking re-election. Benflis is seen as the president’s main rival, and has repeatedly warned of fraud during the election campaign, describing it as his “main adversary” in Thursday’s vote. Speaking to reporters in Algiers, he said he had an “army” of people in place to monitor the poll “consisting of 60,000 people, most of them young men and women armed to the teeth with conviction. If the election is rigged, I will not keep quiet,” Benflis said.
“What will I do with these millions of people who have voted for me, if they realise that their votes have been rigged or tampered with? Not to keep quiet means to protest, not to accept the will of the people being stolen,” he added.
Earlier, Abderezak Mokri, who heads the Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) — the Algerian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — insisted that Bouteflika could only win Thursday’s election by rigging it.
“The signs of fraud are discernible,” Mokri said, without elaborating. “The regime’s candidate cannot win the election” without rigging it.