Bouteflika calls for constitutional change to allow third presidential term

29 October 2008
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has called for the country's constitution to be rewritten in a way that would allow him to stand for a third term in the next presidential elections, due in April 2009.

Bouteflika is coming to the end of his second five-year term as president, the maximum tenure as head of state allowed under the country's constitution.

In a speech on 29 October, Bouteflika called for lawmakers to draft amendments to the constitution.

Under Algerian law, the lower house and the senate would have to pass the amendments.

Bouteflika, who had stomach ulcer operation in December 2005, will be 72 in March and would be 77 in the final month of his third term, assuming any amendment leaves the length of presidential terms unchanged at five years.

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