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Protests against the shadow-realm of Power

There are fateful hours and days, by Algeria before the presidential election goes, for the 18. April is recognized as you are going out, is open. On Sunday, at midnight, the period ended, up to the candidates, their documents had to be submitted to the constitutional Council, the election Commission. Incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika had announced in mid-February, despite his poor state of health, for a fifth mandate to compete – and unleashed a wave of protest. The necessary documents he had to present on Sunday evening, how about the news station Ennahar reported. It was debatable whether he would have to do this in person; the electoral law does not prescribe it.

Because Bouteflika was on Saturday at 82 years of age, celebrated his birthday in the University hospital of Geneva, where he runs in a week, routine investigations, according to official figures, at least. What time is he should return in the home country, was unclear.

Since a stroke in 2013, he is dependent on a wheelchair. He has since spoken in public and rarely occurs – he is the omnipresent Absent. His likeness is everywhere to be seen in Algeria, has ruled the country but of his advisers, an opaque Clique of the military, the intelligence services and officials of the ruling National liberation front (FLN). The Algerians call this the shadow realm only le pouvoir, the Power.

In 2014, accepted by the people in the largest country in Africa, with currently about 42 million inhabitants, the FLN since 1999 President Bouteflika re-established – a veteran of the war of independence against France, many Algerians also his role in ending the bloody civil war to keep Good, between 1991 and 2002, up to 200'000 deaths. But that is over now.

On Friday, protesters moved through the capital, Algiers, Oran, Constantine, Annaba and other cities, people took to the streets, local media reported. With probably hundreds of thousands of participants there were the largest protests since the Arab spring in 2011. The led in Algeria, to rallies, unlike in neighboring Tunisia or Egypt, but to the regime change.

"no, for the fifth mandate!", the demonstrators are chanting now: "20 years is enough!" They are shouting slogans, reminiscent of the coup in Egypt, as "The people want the fall of the regime!", at the same time, but also "peaceful, peaceful!". To stay the protests, and also to the mighty security apparatus as an excuse for violence.

A strong police detachment occupied on the Friday and on the weekend, the Central squares and streets in Algiers. Not for rioting during the Protestzugs, in the evening, the forces of the demonstrators with tear gas prevented, to pull in front of the presidential Palace or the constitutional Council. It came to street battles, according to the health Ministry, 183 people were injured, one died of a heart attack. 45 protesters arrested by the police.

There is speculation that Ex-foreign Minister Lamamra could Started Bouteflika

replace the protests were organized two weeks before, the part about the social media. Last Tuesday had demonstrated to journalists to ensure that they were in the dominant state media, finally, over the protests of the reports. On Sunday, tens of thousands of people in Algiers, gathered again, the police used water cannons and tear gas.

On Friday, had joined the well-known intellectuals, the protests, the heroes of the war of independence such as Djamila Bouhired, the play in the policy a major role, or about the former Prime Minister Ali Benflis. The well-known writer Kamel Daoud said: "The basic change is that The people have no more fear, the wall of fear is broken." It's the feeling that hundreds of thousands of Tunisians inspired and the millions of Egyptians on Tahrir square, is than 2011, you stood up against your old autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.

Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia warned dark in front of a civil war as in Syria – responded to the protesters with such a Call: "Hey Ouyahia, Algeria is Syria!" It is hard to imagine that Algeria comes quickly back to rest. To deep the dissatisfaction sits, the structural problems of the Oil and Gas dependent economy: A third of Algerians are under the age of 30 has no Job and more than half the people is younger than 30.

However, the Opposition is weak, fragmented and fractious, a clear leadership figure, behind which the Algerians could collect, is recognizable. Some parties are calling for a Boycott of the election. There are speculations that the former Minister of foreign Affairs Ramtane Lamamra could replace Bouteflika. The exchanged on Saturday, but his longtime campaign chief and close adviser, Abdelmalek Sellal against transport Minister Abdelghani Zaalane, reported the official news Agency APS, without indication of reasons. That doesn't sound straight, as if he wanted to go. The protesters will be satisfied.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 03.03.2019, 20:17 PM

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