Algeria’s Political Fight

March 15, 2019

If you’ve ever wondered whether protests work, just ask the people of Armenia, and now Algeria. In February, after Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would be seeking a fifth term, protests erupted throughout the country. Why? Because he’s been in office since 1999, hasn’t exactly won each re-election without opposition leaders claiming fraud and voter intimidation, and after suffering a massive stroke in 2013, he’s rarely been seen in public.

Ricardo Stuckert/PR [CC BY-SA 2.5 br (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/br/deed.en)]
While he may still be the leader of the country, people have been questioning whether or not he’s capable of taking on another term (he’s eighty-two and in poor health, after all), and who’s really leading the country right now anyway—is it him or his leadership team? After growing protests and the lack of support from over a thousand judges, Bouteflika announced via a letter that he would not be seeking a fifth term as president. A great step forward, right? Sure, but it also looks like Bouteflika isn’t letting go without a fight. In his announcement, he also declared that he would be forming a new government, delayed the election without issuing a new date for when the election would take place, and named Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui (a person who is close to his brother) as the new prime minister. Protests continue throughout Algeria, with teachers and students being some of the loudest voices and largest groups seeking change.

So, do protests work? What do you think?