Algeria: polls open for presidential elections

“The policy of the ‘empty chair‘ does not meet the agreement of all the militants,” so it’s written on the website monde-diplomatique.fr

“Bouteflika has a monstrous strategy,” a young shopkeeper said. “We were completely turned off (meaning the Democrats) and parties who boycott us are removing the only way to exist on the political arena. So everything is quite clear. There is no one but the Zaïm [the head], as they call him around here”.

These are some of the comments on the presidential elections in Algeria. According to all forecasts, former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, should be reelected. The only doubt is how many people will go to vote.

“But what is this strategy?”, the Monde Diplomatique’s website asks.

“After the presidential elections of 2004, all those who voted for him have received a financial reward. Suddenly, the crowd behind him is getting bigger as even some opponents have joined those who support him. Just before the launch of this campaign, he has given houses in the city to people who used to live in the shantytowns“.

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