Algerian president's election rival joins opposition calls for the ailing leader to resign

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The main challenger to Algeria's president in the last election has joined a coalition of opposition figures and former ministers calling for the country's ailing leader to step down.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, won re-election in May to a fourth term by a landslide despite hardly appearing during the campaign. He has made almost no appearances since and is believed to be very ill.

Ali Benflis, who ran an energetic presidential campaign, said in statement Thursday that opposition leaders are united in their goal of getting Algeria through the current leadership crisis.

Benflis, a former prime minister, met Wednesday with other prominent figures in the Coordination for Freedoms and Democratic Transition group that is pushing for the president to step down.