Despite Algerian demonstrations calling to renounce presidential ambitions, the incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (82) has registered on March 3 his candidacy. However, in case he is elected on April 18, he promised in written an early presidential election in less than a year. Many Algerians have déjà vu feeling, while hearing this promise to leave. In 2014 the leader announced: “‘I will amend the Constitution & hand over power to the youth”. Five years later he requests an additional year.
The fifth term and an early presidential election in less than a year, this is the imposed ‘proposal’ of Abdelaziz Bouteflika aimed at calming down the indignation of Algerians, who find themselves in a situation when their country is led from one of the Swiss clinics ward.
The package proposed by Abdelaziz Bouteflika is obviously designed to calm the revolt of Algerians who demand his definite departure.
On March 3, the last day of the registration for presidential candidates the head of state has sent his new campaign director, Abdelghani Zaalane, to read a letter in which he says he is “determined” to re-election to “assume the historical responsibility for the realization of the basic requirement of the people, that is to say the change of the system“. In this letter, he also says he wants to organize “an early presidential election” in less than a year and agrees not to “be a candidate for this election that will ensure [his] succession”.
Nobody had doubts about Abdelaziz Bouteflika ambition to go for a fifth term, especially after his decision to sack his campaign director, Abdelmalek Sellal before the registration deadline.
Several hundred students chanting “Bouteflika get out!” or “No fifth term for Bouteflika!” have demonstrated in Oran, Constantine or Annaba, and in Algiers, where they marched to President’s Palace el-Mouradia and to the Constitutional Council, the latter ruled that Bouteflika is not obliged to be physically present, while registering his candidacy. This opinion contradicted the electoral commission request to all candidates to submit the documents in person.
А call for a general strike has been launched for Monday, March 4. “A million and a half” invited to continue to demonstrate Friday, March 8 throughout the country.