Seven months after overthrowing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algerians are still in the streets. Mass protests have continued every Friday since Bouteflika’s ouster in April, urging authorities to not just reshuffle the leadership but initiate a complete change of the political system.
Most scholars and observers agree that continued protests after the ouster of a dictator can put pressure on elites to follow through on commitments to democratize. However, seven months in, the Algerian regime has yet to budge, seemingly hoping for the protests to fizzle out and for non-protesters to grow tired of the demonstrations. Indeed, recent scholarship suggests that continued protests can be a double-edged sword, potentially driving non-protesters to grow frustrated not only with demonstrations but with democracy more generally.… Seguir leyendo »
Tunisians voted in parliamentary elections on Sunday, their second of three elections scheduled this fall. About 41 percent of registered voters turned out to vote, slightly lower than the 49 percent in the first round of the presidential elections held Sept. 15.
The elections will create a highly fractured parliament, with no party or list receiving more than 20 percent of the vote. While results will be announced Wednesday, exit polls suggest a narrow victory for the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, with about 18 percent of the vote, followed closely by newcomer Qalb Tounes, with about 16 percent. Five smaller parties secured between 4 percent and 6 percent of the vote.… Seguir leyendo »
On April 2, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after 20 years in power, becoming the fifth Arab autocrat to fall to a popular uprising since 2011. As in Egypt and Tunisia, Bouteflika’s fall was precipitated by a defection from the military. Hours before his resignation, the army chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, announced that he was siding with the Algerian people and called for Bouteflika’s immediate removal from office.
At first glance, the Algerian military’s decision to abandon Bouteflika is surprising. The military had been a center of power under Bouteflika’s tenure, “ruling but not governing” day to day, to use Steven Cook’s phrase.… Seguir leyendo »