By Gaëlle LaleixPosted on 17-11-2019Modified the 17-11-2019 at 08:50
This Sunday marks the first day of the campaign for the first post-Bouteflika presidential election. An election overwhelmingly rejected by the street who believes that a vote organized by the transitional military regime will only serve to recycle the old regime in place.
On Friday, millions of Algerians demonstrated across the country to say no to the December 12 presidential election, the first since Abdel Aziz Bouteflika's departure in April, after 20 years in power. Five candidates are in the running , including two former prime ministers of the former president. Mouloud Boumghar, professor of law at the University of Picardy, analyzes the campaign that begins this Sunday.
RFI: In what climate does this election campaign start?
Mouloud Boumghar: The climate is about the same as in the last few months, that is to say there are massive demonstrations, which bring together a very large part of the population: people from different generations, from very different social classes, from different regions. So massive and national demonstrations. And these protesters have a very clear claim: they no longer want this political regime, they no longer want this political system, which is incarnated both today by the chief of staff Ahmed Gaïd Salah and the military high-ranking general, and on the other side by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui or Acting Head of State Abdelkader Bensalah. The second element that characterizes this climate is the determination, the constancy of the claim, the determination of the protesters who, for nine months, beat the pavement every Friday. Finally, the third element is the repression exercised by the power that wants to go into force and impose these elections when there is obviously a massive popular rejection of this presidential election because the protesters demand the departure first. power.
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In these conditions, what should we expect from this presidential campaign?
For the protesters, the people who came to these elections chose their side, that is, the camp of the regime and the perpetuation of the regime. Even if someone like Ali Benflis, former Prime Minister of Bouteflika, who has already run in two presidential elections in the past, claims to want to change the regime, that is totally false. He can not change the plan, simply because he has come out of it and because he has the codes for that plan. It does not question the militarized nature of the regime, it does not really question its authoritarianism. So we can not expect much. So all these people say that they want to satisfy popular demands. But even the Chief of Staff says he wants to meet popular demands. So there is nothing to expect from this election campaign, except perhaps a little disclosure of the positions of each other. But other than that, there is nothing to expect.
So, we should expect to see relatively empty meetings, with staged to make believe that there is enthusiasm of the population?
The rejection of this regime is massive in the country. But this regime acts in a way to rebuild its clientele and to rebuild its customer networks. And therefore, he could have a small capacity for mobilization, either by coercion, by bribing people, or by the effect of propaganda. But even with all this remobilization that he hopes to organize, there is very little chance that it will go very far. For example, they try to make counter-demonstrations, demonstrations of support for the presidential election. And they do not gather a lot of people first. Compared to Friday's demonstrations, it's pretty ridiculous. And secondly, they are opposed by protesters who, themselves, oppose the holding of the presidential election. Let's get on well: people are not opposed to elections as a way of choosing leaders. They refuse elections in conditions where they can not be free and honest.
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