One of Algeria's most prominent reformist politicians says he will not be running for president because the election is meaningless with the military-backed incumbent running for a fourth term.

In a press conference Thursday, Mouloud Hamrouche said the country's institutions, including the military, were being forced to support Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Hamrouche says this will only deepen the nation's crisis.

Bouteflika, 76, has not appeared in public for two years and is visibly weaker since suffering a stroke last year. Despite his infirmity, he is expected to win the election with the backing of the powerful state apparatus.

Hamrouche, who ran against Bouteflika in 1999, was prime minister in from 1989 to 1991 and celebrated for his political reforms.

Most opposition parties have called for a boycott of the election.