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Vol 60 No 2

Published 25th January 2019


A stasis of emergency

Bouteflika looks certain to stand again. Sick, isolated and out of ideas, he is a cipher for a political system that is out of time

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's quiet mid-January visit to his cardiologist in Grenoble reminded Algerians that for all the country's economic and social problems, politics remains dominated by one issue: the health of the 81-year-old raïs. If he can make it to the polling booth on 18 April – almost certainly huddled into the wheelchair that shocked so many at his last public appearance on 1 November – he will be re-elected and continue to govern by edict from his coastal residence at Zeralda, much as he has since his stroke in 2013.

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