Bouteflika is part of a thinning elite of veterans who fought France in the independence war and have run Algeria ever since. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
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A rare public appearance by veteran Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is fueling speculation he will run for a fifth term next year, a move that would mean at least short-term stability for a key U.S. ally and one of Europe's main gas suppliers.While another term for Bouteflika would give a ruling caste of FLN officials, generals and business tycoons time to organize a smooth succession, it is likely to be a source of frustration for young Algerians worried about unemployment and austerity in a state-controlled economy suffering from low oil prices.Bouteflika is part of a thinning elite of the veterans who fought France in the independence war and have run Algeria ever since.Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, leader of the National Rally for Democracy allied to the FLN, has already said he will not run if Bouteflika goes for a fifth term.In addition, thousands of former Islamist fighters who accepted a partial amnesty to end the civil war could be potential Bouteflika supporters if he runs again.While the fighters did not get any political rights under the original deal, Bouteflika is now expected to offer them full rights.
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