World
Algerian president struggles to recite oath of office
Publish Date: Apr 30, 2014
Algerian president struggles to recite oath of office
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika struggled to recite the oath of office. FILE PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
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
North Korea seeks joint probe into Sony hack
North Korea on Saturday called for a joint investigation with the United States into a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming it had means to prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with it....
Two men burnt alive in DRC after attack
Two men are burnt alive by civilians in the DR Congo''s volatile east after they attacked a military office....
Obama to N. Korea over Sony hack:
US President Barack Obama has warned North Korea it would face retaliation for a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures over an irreverent film comedy that infuriated Pyongyang....
N. Korea denies involvement in Sony cyber attack
North Korea's UN mission denies involvement in a cyber attack on Sony Pictures after the US FBI said it had evidence that Pyongyang was behind the hacking....
Vatican shuts down scrollmakers
The Vatican cracks down on the business amid reports of fake parchments being peddled to unwitting tourists for pricey sums....
Boko Haram
Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 185 people, including women and children, in northeast Nigeria, the latest mass abduction in a region where the military has repeatedly struggled to protect civilians, officials and witnesses said Thursday....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter