A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, February 3, 2014

As More Endorse Bouteflika, New Attacks on "Toufik"

I'm over my virus and back to normal blogging, I hope. Algerian President Bouteflika still hasn't officially said if he's running agin in April, but he keeps piling up the endorsements; in additiion to the two major ruling parties, the FLN and the RND, he's also being endorsed by a raft of smaller allied parties.

Another sign that the Bouteflika forces are flexing their muscles: an apparent new round in the ongoing power struggle between the President's allies and the powerful military intelligence chief. You may recall that last year in a reshuffle of the security forces, Bouteflika reportedly reduced the power base of the powerful DRS military intelligence service and its chief, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Mediene, usually known by his nom de guerre Toufik, Now, FLN Secretary-General Amar Saadani is quoted as saying that Mediene should have resigned after a string of what he characterized as "intelligence failures." He also criticized the continuing influence of the DRS. Whether Bouteflika does run himself or is merely preparing the ground for a successor,t appears that the power struggle with Mediene may be coming to the fore again.

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