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Vol 44 No 21

Published 24th October 2003


Algeria

Split parties, stout leaders

President Bouteflika looks vulnerable ahead of the elections as politicians fall out

The elite is at war again, this time with each other. At stake in the power-struggle, a particularly vicious and unprincipled one even by Algeria's standards, is incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's position as front-runner in the presidential election next April. Boutef, the generals' candidate in the 1999 election, faces a strong challenge from sacked Prime Minister Ali Benflis plus two other establishment figures. This time the generals, including the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Mohammed Lamari, say the army will stay 'neutral'. At the least, the generals will share their political largesse more widely.

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