World
Algerian president struggles to recite oath of officePublish Date: Apr 30, 2014
Algerian president struggles to recite oath of office
  • mail
  • img
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika struggled to recite the oath of office. FILE PHOTO/AFP
newvision

ALGIERS - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika "flunked" a test of his oral skills at his inauguration, newspapers said Tuesday, raising doubts about the stroke victim's ability to effectively carry out his duties.

Sitting in a wheelchair, the ailing 77-year-old Bouteflika struggled to recite the oath of office and give a speech at his televised inauguration on Monday, following his re-election for a fourth term.

"Bouteflika flunked his oral," the leading El Watan newspaper said in an editorial.

"Handicapped by illness, he was forced to tap into his meagre resources to pass this final and challenging oral exam."

Bouteflika, who was also in a wheelchair when he cast his ballot in the April 17 election, has hardly been seen in public since the mini-stroke that confined him to hospital in Paris for three months last year.

"Algerians who followed the tragicomic event on television saw images that gave little reassurance on the state of the health of Bouteflika, who is to preside over the country's destiny for the next five years," said El Watan.

The El Khabar daily put the issue on its front page, describing Bouteflika's speech as "incomplete".

It noted that after reciting the 94-word oath in Arabic, the president stumbled on his words during his speech, a copy of which was distributed to journalists at the ceremony, which lasted 30 minutes.

The French-language Liberte described the swearing-in ceremony as "expeditious" and said Bouteflika "only read the preamble of the confusing speech" which was 12 pages long.

"Yesterday's performance reminded us, once again, of the stubborn issue of the president's capacity to effectively undertake his duties," it said.

"The regime can say everything is in order, (but) the medical debate continues with its political ramifications."

Meanwhile, the youth protest movement Barakat (Enough) said it sent a letter to the Constitutional Council on Tuesday calling for Bouteflika to be impeached over his inability to rule.

The request was based on footage showing Bouteflika had "failed to read all his text and only one paragraph of the 29 in the speech," Barakat's Amina Bouraoui told AFP.

Bouteflika won 81.5 percent of votes in an election marred by low turnout and claims of fraud by his opponents, including main rival Ali Benflis, who received 12.2 percent.

One of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France, Bouteflika first came to power in 1999, but has been dogged by ill health and corruption scandals.

He nevertheless remains popular with many Algerians, who credit him with helping to end the devastating civil war in the 1990s.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Violence soars in Gaza as world pleads for truce
BLOODSHED in and around Gaza surged Tuesday with strikes killing 26 Palestinians, including at least four children, as Israel announced the deaths of five more soldiers...
US President Barack Obama has warned that the future stability of the world depends on African nations achieving prosperity and self-reliance, in an address to youth leaders from the continent....
Second attack by female suicide bomber injures 6 in Nigeria
A second attack by a female suicide bomber outside a shopping centre in Nigeria''s Kano city injured six people on Monday after a similar blast killed three people at a petrol station, police said....
Foreigners urged to leave Libya amid rising violence
EGYPT and several Western states urged their nationals to leave Libya amid spiralling violence after two weeks of fighting left 97 people dead...
Malaysia marks grim Eid after MH17 crash
MALAYSIA on Monday marked a solemn Eid al-Fitr, Islam''s biggest festival, as families of those aboard downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 mourned the dead...
UN Council to make urgent appeal for Gaza ceasefire
THE UN Security Council agreed on Sunday to issue an urgent appeal to Israel and Hamas for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza...
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter