Algerian court convicts two fmr prime ministers of corruption ahead of election

A man reads a newspaper headlining on the trial of two former Algerian prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal in Algiers

Abdelaziz Belaid, a former FLN central committee member, later set up El Mostakbal Movement party and was defeated by Bouteflika in the 2014 presidential election.

However, Algerians continued to stage demonstrations against the aging leader, accusing him of trying to unconstitutionally extend his fourth term in office.

Algeria faces a presidential election on Thursday that is rejected by the opposition. The elections were originally planned to be held on July 4 but were postponed due to the lack of credible candidates.

The delay of the polls came after a months-long arm wrestles between authorities and protesters. However they don't see their mission as complete.

On Sept. 15, interim Prime Minister Abdelkader Bensalah said that the country will hold presidential elections on December 12., stressing that the date had been decided after talks with stakeholders.

The third candidate, Azzedine Mihoubi, is a former journalist and author who now serves as Algeria's minister of culture.

"We wanted to express our rejection of the elections just as they expressed their opinions", he said, according to AFP.

The mass movement on the streets overshadowed the election campaigns.

Algerian students hold a protest in Algiers on Tuesday. Dozens of protesters there sat in the pouring rain to raise their voice against the elections.

In other cities, unfavorable slogans have been written on the posters.

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Some 24.5 million Algerians are eligible to cast their vote on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ghanem said he expects participation to remain low. Global watchdogs are also not allowed to observe the election.

With regards to the upcoming elections, the movement believes that all five of the candidates are close to the establishment. Mihoubi, a former culture minister, took over leadership of the National Democratic Rally party, which has governed in alliance with the FLN, the sole party for almost three decades and now in tatters.

Benflis, who had given support to protesting people, was also protested.

Benflis, 75, said during the debate that he chose to seek the presidency "knowing that all conditions are not met". Former transport minister Abdelghani Zaalane was the only defendant acquitted. Tebboune is accused of having ties with businessmen who were arrested for alleged corruption.

Among the other businessmen sentenced was former FCE vice president Mohamed Bairi, CEO of the Ival group, which owns industrial vehicle plant Iveco. After serving that role, he was chosen to be the general secretary of the Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party.

"They simply want free, democratic and transparent elections", Benissad told Algeria's TSA online news agency this week.

"This will clearly put the newly elected president in a very fragile position".

In September, an Algerian military court sentenced Bouteflika's brother, Said Bouteflika to 15 years in prison.

The Court of Sidi M'hamed in Algiers has sentenced two former Algerian Prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal to 15 and 12 years in prison, respectively. They denied all charges, including "misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power and granting undue privileges".

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