Algeria: President Bouteflika to the end of suspense

© MOHAMED MESSARA / EPA / MAXPPP Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is running for a fifth term.

3 will not have been a Sunday like any other in Algeria. The president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82 years old, had cost to present his candidacy before midnight, last legal deadline to apply for the presidential elections of April 18, 2019.

In the middle of the afternoon and while some media claimed that he submitted his candidacy, the strong man of Algiers had not yet returned from Switzerland where he underwent a series of medical examinations in the VIP service. University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG). Meanwhile, the street rumbled against the fifth mandate of a sick man, who has not made a speech since 2013. Still Sunday, when the subway of Algiers had been closed and the main arteries buckled, the president announced his declaration of assets.

According to the Tout sur l’Algerie (TSA) site, Bouteflika declared itself to be the owner of real estate and movable property. In all, a house on the peninsula of Sidi Fredj, a house and an apartment in Algiers. The president said he had two private vehicles and said he « does not own any property inside the country or abroad ».

These clarifications were then made that a Lebanese chain (Al Mayadeen) felt that the president was in a critical situation.

If ever the ruling system backs down, who would succeed President Bouteflika? Retired General Ali Ghediri? This braided top submitted his candidacy this Sunday before the Constitutional Council.

For sure, the system of generals will face the Islamists, even if Abderrezak Makri, the leader of the main Islamist party in the country, said he will not be a candidate. As Ali Benfils, former secretary general of the National Liberation Front (FLN) main opponent of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the presidential elections of 2004 and 2014, he will not show up, said a leader of his party, the Vanguard Rachid Nekkaz, 47, the man who tried to run in the French presidential election, is unlikely to go beyond the stage of anecdote.

In power for 20 years, Bouteflika has not addressed the Algerians for five years. Those who support his candidacy speak of stability. Elected for the first time head of state in 1999, then reelected in the first round, in 2004 (85% of the votes), in 2009 (90%) and 2014 (81%), after the removal of the constitutional limitation to two presidential terms, will the strong man of Algiers manage to reach the capital before midnight?

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