Algeria: Walls Close In On Bouteflika

Thousands again took to the streets of Algiers on 29 March to demanding the ouster of the country’s ruling elite. This suggests that protestors are not satisfied with army chief Ahmed Gaed Salah’s 26 March call for ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be declared unfit for office. The UGTA trade union, a key state institution, also backed the plans. One of Mr Bouteflika’s key backers, Ali Haddad, head of the FCE business forum resigned.

Implicit in the plan, backed by the ruling FLN party, is that the powerful factions that comprise what is know as ‘le pouvoir’ are looking to navigate a way out of the crisis with their power intact. Algerians first took to the streets late last month after Mr Bouteflika declared his candidacy for a fifth-term ( MEES, 8 March 2019 ). Whilst Mr Bouteflika’s exit isno longer a question of if, but when, the country’s future direction remains up in the air. Whoever ends up ruling Algeria faces massive economic challenges ( MEES, 22 March 2019 ). (CONTINUED - 167 WORDS)