ALGIERS, Algeria: Algeria is at a turning point, led by citizens young and old peacefully protesting against the 20-year rule of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The powerful military is girding against eventual chaos, while protesters in the North African nation are relishing the notion of an Algeria reborn. But there are no polls, and no way to know whether the weight of the street might tip the balance in the upcoming presidential election.
The power structure in Algeria since independence has been opaque. Before Bouteflika took office in 1999, generals held the presidency, and the military’s voice is still powerful. But today there are multiple spheres of influence, among them a coterie of the super-rich, who grew their wealth under Bouteflika, experts say. At the same time, corruption has reached crescendo levels.
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