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Does Algeria now have a president for life?

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After the Algerian parliament changed the constitution to lift presidential term limits, north Africans are asking whether Algeria now has a president for life.

 

In making the change, Algeria has followed a route taken in recent years by other African countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Uganda, all of which removed the limit of two presidential terms.

 

The change means that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looks certain for relection in the April 2009 election, although he has not yet confirmed he will stand.

 

Democracy campaigners see it as a dark day for the economically powerful but politically fragile country, which has a history of violence and intolerance.

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