October 24, 2021

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Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died

Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has died at the age of 84. He was forced to step down in 2019 after major protests.

Former Algerian President Abdel-Jazei Potteflika, who was ousted from power in 2019 after massive protests, died at the age of 84 this Friday.

Due to his spectacular fall under the pressure of the military and the street, the Algerians called him “Budef,” who was in solitary confinement at his medical home in Geralda, west of Algiers, while his relatives were charged with corruption.

In April 2019, despite his ill health, after 20 years in power, he was forced to step down after several weeks of massive protests against his will to run for a fifth five-year term.

No sign of life from 2019 onwards

Although he has been ubiquitous in Algerian political life for decades, almost completely invisible after the paralysis in 2013, after a popular uprising called “Hirak” and the military forced him to resign, Bouteflika gave no sign of life.

That was the last time he appeared on TV that day and he announced that he was throwing in the towel. However, despite the expulsion of Bouteflika and his clan, Hirak continued, with the election of his successor Abdelmadjit Deboun in 2019.

Bouteflika’s fourth term took place against the backdrop of falling oil prices for a hydrocarbon-dependent economy. The treasury was empty and, as the Arab Spring had invaded the region in 2011, could no longer buy social peace.

Notification without program interruption

Official television stations were pleased to announce the death of the former head of state, although their programs were not interrupted to dedicate special programs to him.

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Aside from the official announcement, Poteflicka’s death did not lead to an immediate opinion from the authorities, but Internet users have commented in detail on the disappearance of the person who ruled Algeria from 1999 to 2019.

Bouteflika continued to spread rumors about his health and death as his stroke made him incapacitated and he was wheeled into a wheelchair. But, each time, he reappeared in public to deny it.

His candidacy was felt for the fifth time in a row by millions of Algerians who took to the streets in major cities across the country since February 22, 2019.

He was re-elected for the first time in 1999, and was re-elected in the first round in 2004, 2009 and 2014 with more than 80% of the vote, this is the fifth time he has been bought by the regime.

But a six-week Hirac mobilization never seen before in Algeria forced General Ahmed Qaid Salah, then army chief, to accept the resignation of one of his loyalists.

“Throughout his life, Abdelaziz Bouteflika was driven by two passions: to conquer power and keep it at all costs. He wanted to serve a fifth time despite his ill health and helplessness,” said Farid Allied, author. Poteflica, Secret History, A closer look at the ancient “raïs” journey.

Bouteflika is regarded as the architect of national reconciliation, which enabled the restoration of peace in Algeria, which has been embroiled in a civil war against an Islamic guerrilla since 1992, which has claimed nearly 200,000 lives in ten years.