Legislative elections in Algeria, a massive boycott by the Algerians, “reinforce the political division” and leave President Tebboune “now more isolated than ever”, writes former United States ambassador to Algiers Robert Ford.
In an analysis published by the American think tank specializing in the Middle East, “The Middle East Institute”, Ford noted that the election reflects the reality of a country “on the one hand, in the midst of a political system led by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.” Torn “and supported by an army that denies profound changes and, on the other hand, a population that has lost faith in the old system”.
According to the retired US diplomat, now a senior researcher at the Washington-based think tank, “the massive street protest movement known as Hirak was successful in achieving a widespread boycott of the election.”, hence the country’s lowest level of participation in history. .
After the certification of the results, which “sanctified the old system”, the country would face its “eternal ills”, he said, recalling, in pel-mail, that “the Algerian hydrocarbon sector expects a reduction in production and exports”. and therefore decrease in government revenue and foreign exchange earnings. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have declined drastically over the past 10 years. Ongoing problems of unemployment, housing shortage and purchasing power are likely to result in tight government budgets or heavy borrowings. suffers because of the face of it”.
He added that “the government has long recognized the urgent need to develop new fields to reduce dependence on oil and gas, but it has never been able to create a regulatory environment and a business environment that is strong. attracts domestic and foreign investment. At the same time, the COVID pandemic continues while the public health system, like all public services, is suffering”.
According to this connoisseur of Algerian reality, the sad reality is this: “Teboune and his next prime minister probably won’t get many new creative ideas from their supporters in parliament”.
However, the future looks bleak, although “Senna, Tebboune and their supporters can be assured that they have avoided the impending institutional crisis facing Algeria in 2019, when millions descended on the country. Protests against re-election hit the street in. of President Bouteflika “.
In his diagnosis, Robert Ford recalls that “security forces have, at least, cracked down on Hirak street demonstrations, arrested hundreds and imprisoned dozens of activists to prevent further marches”. , adding that “the government has intensified the harassment of independent journalists.”
In the absence of the emergence of a new political class associated with the Algerian civil society and separate from the old discredited political system, “the results of the June 12 elections strengthened this old system. Even so-called independents won 78 seats in the new lower house.” There are many former members of pro-government parties and therefore they do not represent a major break with the past”, he noted again.
As a conclusion, the former ambassador to the United States recalls the findings of several experts and commentators who pointed out that the previous election, which was supposed to bring the regime out of a crisis of legitimacy, “reflected a lack of legitimacy”. shored up”. To ask “How long will the Algerian military continue to support a separate Tebboune?” “.
Oh, is that so