Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



Algerians demonstrate against a fifth term for Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Abdelaziz Bouteflika has presided over Algeria since 1999 (photo: F.Dubessy)
Abdelaziz Bouteflika has presided over Algeria since 1999 (photo: F.Dubessy)
ALGERIA. The number of contests has increased in Algeria since the official announcement that Abdelaziz Bouteflika (81 years old) will run for a new presidential term. On Friday 22 and Sunday 24 February 2019, at the call of the opposition movement Mouwatana (citizenship) but also social networks, the streets have again heard their slogans - "No 5th mandate", "free and democratic Algeria" - to the centre of Algiers. Although demonstrations have been officially banned since June 2001.

Is an Arab Spring being born? In any case, it seems that the youth, who have only known Abdelaziz Boutefika, in office since 1999, at the head of their country, refuse to entrust him with the reins again. They have not experienced the black decade of the 1990s when discontent (cancellation of the results of the legislative elections giving victory to the Islamic Salvation Front - FIS) led to a civil war between the Algerian government and several Islamist groups. This memory, and the fear of plunging back into chaos (200,000 dead and missing), explained why Algerians only very timidly and for the time of a few demonstrations joined the Arab Spring movement in 2011. Today, the situation is quite different.

New demonstration on Tuesday 26 February 2019

Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in Geneva since the evening of Sunday 24 February 2019 for a "short medical stay", according to a statement from the Presidency of the Republic. His campaign manager, Abdelmalek Sellal, said the same day in a televised interview on Amel TV, "Since the beginning, the president has mentioned his illness. We were transparent, he showed total transparency. There are very strong calls from all over the Republic for his work to continue. It is the people who have called on him to continue."

Algerian students are calling for demonstrations on Tuesday 26 February 2019 against the fifth mandate. The presidential election will take place on 18 April 2019.
Abdelmalek Sellal, Algeria, Amel TV, Bouteflika, Geneva, Hirak, social movements, Mouwatana, Algerian politics, Arab Spring, Algerian presidential election

Frédéric Dubessy

Monday, February 25th 2019

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