John Kerry was in Algeria last week, an occasion that afforded Algerians a rare glimpse of their president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Despite the fact that he is running for re-election to his fourth term on April 17, Mr. Bouteflika has been seen in public infrequently over the last 12 months. Most of these instances are video snippets. One shows him in a dressing gown in a Paris hospital, where he was treated for a stroke, meeting with his prime minister and army chief of staff. Another shows him riding in his motorcade in Algiers, his rigid right arm upraised in an awkward attempt at a wave.… Seguir leyendo »
Libya’s new electoral law, passed by the National Transitional Council last month, provides guidelines for selecting the country’s first-ever democratic government. Many, including the United Nations, hailed the law’s passage as a significant step down Libya’s rocky political road.
But even if, as planned, a government is elected later this year, the law contains a plank that may ensure that Libya remains unstable and economically precarious, a danger to both itself and its neighbors: namely, it prohibits members of the military from voting.
Excluding soldiers from elections is an understandable and real concern for countries transitioning from dictatorship, which relies on brutal militaries to quash domestic support for democracy.… Seguir leyendo »