Bouteflika supporters view him as capable of ensuring stability for the North African nation amid upheaval in the region. Algerian officials announced in February that Bouteflika, who has been recovering from a stroke he suffered last year, planned to seek a fourth five-year term.
The president easily won the vote in 2009. Government critics, however, consider elections unfair with state institutions under Bouteflika's control.
Shortly after the uprisings, Algeria – a beneficiary of oil and gas resources – took pre-emptive initiatives to appease the public, such as increasing subsides on food and implementing pay increases. A recent report by the International Monetary Fund showed that the unemployment rate in Algeria fell from 29.5% to 10% between 2000 and 2011.
Bouteflika is one of six presidential candidates this year. Analysts say the others have little chance of winning, though there have been recent signs of government opposition.
And many Algerians, particularly young people, have not shown great interest in the election, he said.