Algeria after Bouteflika

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika visits a polling station during November 2017 local elections
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, age 81 and frail, made a rare public appearance in November 2017 to cast a ballot in local elections (source: dpa)
  • With longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika now 81 years old and in poor health, Algeria is preparing for an uncertain future
  • To successfully manage a transition, the ruling elite will need to find a consensus successor
  • At stake is Algeria’s economic and political future, as well as the country’s role in the region’s security environment

With ongoing instability in Libya, a social uprising in Tunisia and a delicate political and economic balance in Morocco, the Maghreb is facing a critical period. Challenges to regional stability will increase in the short and medium run as Algeria enters a transition period. While gradual political reforms and economic recovery indicate the possibility of a relatively peaceful transition, a worst-case scenario must still be considered given its far-reaching geopolitical consequences. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 81 years old and in poor health, has announced that he will seek a fifth mandate in the 2019 elections.

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