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Confusion Dominates as Algeria Heads into Troubled Waters

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With the presidential election day approaching in Algeria, the sheer number of political forces aiming to secure power in this troubled state leaves geopolitical analysts bewildered and confused. Those trying hard to explain the situation that slips out of control rapidly are also trying to establish who was behind the recent anti-government protests on top of the US, that clearly played an important role in bringing the Bouteflika government down.

Most observers seem to agree that the former head of the Ministry of national defense, Ali Ghediri has the best shot at getting elected president. Back in 2015, this seasoned general had to retire after a conflict he had with Algeria’s army chief of staff, Ahmed Gaid Salah.

Ali Ghediri, who’s in his mid sixties, can be best described by his idealistic ideas of an anti-imperialistic patriot who aspires to catch his country in a free-fall by kick-starting democratic reforms. However, he is not going to take this fight alone, as he has recently received both financial and political support from Issad Rebrab, a billionaire who is best described as the wealthiest man in Algeria. The CEO of the Cevital industrial group provides jobs to tens of thousands of people across the country, and argues that he’s going to assist his champion in making Algeria as successful and prosperous as his industrial group is. It’s his conviction that to secure this goal one has to liberalize the national legislation, allowing foreign investors to play a larger role in the economic life of the country, while bringing it out of the tight grip of local military and political elites.

It’s noteworthy that the former head of the Ministry of national defense refused to participate in protests against the Bouteflika government in any form of fashion. However, this fact affected his popularity in a rather negative way, as there’s more than enough of those who are convinced that if a politician failed to side with the street mob he must have been controlled by representatives of the former government.

However, as........

© New Eastern Outlook