Various sectors of Algerian’s diverse political opposition will meet on Wednesday February 20th to choose a joint candidate to face current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the April 18th presidential election.
"The opposition is facing a historic challenge and it must meet it because this presidential election is a turning point in the destiny of Algeria," said Lakhdar Benkhellaf, spokesperson for the Justice and Development Front, according to AP.
The invitation came from Abdallah Djaballah, head of Algeria's Islamic Justice and Development Front, to put together a joint political programme for opposition groups.
It is expected that former heads of government Ali Benflis and Ahmed Benbitour, and leader of the moderate Islamic Party Abderrazak Makri will attend the meeting, as well as representatives of some smaller political parties. Other prominent names may be absent with some planning to boycott the elections.
The 81-year-old Bouteflika said this month he would run for a fifth term despite physical disability caused by a stroke in 2013.
Analysts say many Algerians will vote for Bouteflika again, fearing that the country could slide into unrest if he leaves.