A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Algeria's Benflis Says He'll Stay in the Race

After Abdelaziz Bouteflika registered himself for a fourth term yesterday,  it's being reported that "dozens" of Presidential candidates have dropped out of the race, charging that Bouteflika's election is foreordained and criticizing his decision to run despite his age and health.

One who hasn't dropped out is former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, who announced his own candidacy in January and who says he's staying in the race.

For as good an explanation as I've seen on why the ailing Bouteflika will win anyway, see this article by Thomas Serres at Jadaliyya, translated from the French: "Bouteflika's Fourth Mandate: The Cartel's Gamble." The cartel he speaks of is essentially the military, political, and party establishments which, despite highly visible disagreements at times, manage to come together to preserve their own control of  the state apparatus.

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