Historic protests challenge fragile Algerian leader, regime

The power structure in Algeria since independence has been opaque.

9 March 2019 | 17:00

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 9 March 2019 | 17:00

In this May 4, 2017 file photo, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika prepares to vote in Algiers. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)

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.

Show Comments

An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.