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Vol 59 No 23

Published 23rd November 2018


The sick men of North Africa

Grey heads are rolling throughout the establishment as Bouteflika’s circle purges rivals, clearing the way for his fifth term of office

Presidents routinely use 1 November, when Algeria commemorates the start of its war of liberation from France, to call for accelerated economic reforms which will reduce reliance on hydrocarbons and build a better future for disaffected youth. This was Abdelaziz Bouteflika's rallying call to mark this year's 64th anniversary, but what all but the most blinkered Algerians saw at the formal wreath-laying at El Alia Cemetery was a wheelchair-bound and apparently extremely infirm octogenarian. His supporters still want him to stand for a fifth term in next year's elections.

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