Three issues are dominating the present Algerian political scene: A power struggle between the supporters of Algeria’s president and the heads of the Algerian State Intelligence Service (DRS); the growing threat of regional terrorist groups in the region; and the deadly In-Amenas attack early this year.

As part of the power struggle between the supporters of ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the generals of the DRS – led by General Tewfik Mediene – the president has issued a decree requiring the Central Directorate of the army security to report to the Chiefs of Staff instead of the Military Intelligence Department. This, Algeria watchers say, was intended to weaken potential opponents prior to the April 2014 presidential race (in which the military intelligence establishment is expected to support a candidate to run against Mr Bouteflika). Mr Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth term would also require parliamentary approval of a constitutional amendment, and the recent government reshuffle was designed to ensure that his supporters hold key posts. (CONTINUED - 781 WORDS)