Algeria in transition

This is a compilation of blog posts about the protests that broke out in Algeria in 2019, directed against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The most recent posts are at the top.


Algeria takes a turn for the worse as army chief moves to quell protests

19th September 2019

The political crisis in Algeria is about to take a turn for the worse as the authorities attempt subdue street protests ahead of a presidential election. On Wednesday Gaïd Salah, the army's chief of staff, ordered police to stop buses and cars transporting demonstrators into the capital for what have now become regular Friday protests.

Election date set as Algerian authorities seek to end protests

16th September 2019

In a controversial move aimed at ending seven months of street protests, the Algerian authorities announced on Sunday that a presidential election will be held on 12 December.

Announcement of presidential election

15 September 2019

Full text of speech by acting president Abdelkader Bensalah (in French)

Protesters suspect a trap as Algerian authorities push for early presidential election

14 September 2019

The protests in Algeria that began in February show no signs of fizzling out. On Friday, for the 30th week in succession, tens of thousands demonstrated in the capital and other cities – reportedly in increased numbers. 

Algerian protests continue amid signs the authorities are losing patience

9 September 2019

Last Friday, for the 29th week in succession, demonstrators took to the streets of Algiers. It's now five months since they achieved their initial goal – triggering the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after more than 20 years in power – but their demands go far beyond that. 

Algerian protesters turn their attention to the military

11 May 2019

For the twelfth consecutive Friday, protesters took to the streets in Algeria yesterday, continuing their battle to dismantle Le Pouvoir – the corrupt network of political, military and business elites that has ruled the country for decades.

Bouteflika is going, but what next for Algeria?

2 April 2019

Algerians who have been demonstrating on the streets for more than a month appear to have achieved their primary goal of toppling President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On Monday the official news agency reported that the 82-year-old president will resign "before 28 April" – the date when his current mandate expires.
​

Bouteflika's tricks and promises stir renewed anger in Algeria

13 March 2019

For a brief moment on Monday night it seemed that Algerian protesters' key demand had been granted and that 82-year-old President Bouteflika would not after all be seeking a fifth term in office. But it soon became clear that in renouncing his ambitions for a fifth term, Bouteflika had cancelled the presidential election due on 18 April – thus extending his current fourth term indefinitely.
​

Algerian president Bouteflika cancels election but promises reforms

12 March 2019

At first sight the announcement that President Bouteflika will not be seeking a fifth term is a significant victory for the protesters, but there's a catch. The official statement also postponed the presidential election scheduled for 18 April until an unspecified date. In the meantime Bouteflika will remain in office, ostensibly supervising political reforms.

Statement by President Bouteflika

11 March 2019

Text of a statement issued in the name of President Bouteflika announcing that he will not seek a fifth term.

Algeria's army chief distances himself from ailing president

11 March 2019

Does Algeria's army chief Gaïd Salah see himself as a possible replacement for President Bouteflika?

Bouteflika offers reform in Algeria, but is it just a ruse?

4 March 2019

Algeria's 82-year-old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was formally nominated yesterday for a fifth term in office, even though the current constitution says he is limited to two terms. Bouteflika, who is in poor health and uses a wheelchair, is reported to be in Switzerland for medical tests and the nomination papers were submitted on his behalf by his campaign manager.

Letter from President Bouteflika

3 March 2019

Bouteflika promises reforms if he is re-elected for a fifth term as president.

Algeria: the people versus the 'mafiocracy'

1 March 2019

When the Arab Spring uprisings broke out in 2011 there were riots in Algeria, as elsewhere in the region. But while the leaders of three neighbouring countries – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – were toppled the regime of Abdelaziz Bouteflika survived relatively unscathed. Now, however, the regime is facing a new challenge. During the last week there have been widespread protests calling on President Bouteflika to step down and this time they may not be so easy to quell.

Algerians show their discontent: images from the protests

26 February 2019

Large-scale protests are continuing in Algeria against President Bouteflika. Now aged 81 and in poor health, he has been president since 1999 is seeking re-election for a fifth term in office. Here is a selection of images showing banners and other campaign material posted on social media during the last few days. 

Algerians mock 'dead' president as he seeks re-election

24 February 2019

Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been president of Algeria since 1999. Now aged 81 and in poor health, he is seeking a fifth term in office. The ruling FLN party has already adopted him as its candidate for the election in April and other sections of the political establishment have declared their backing but the move has provoked a wave of anger among the Algerian public.