Algeria: Bouteflika Takes On Third Term

On Friday, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected for a third term in office, extending his already ten-year tenure. Along with former Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, Bouteflika changed the constitution to remove the presidential term limit, a revision that was approved by the Council of Ministers in November 2008. According to Daily Maghreb, he won his third term with 90.24 percent of votes cast.

Moroccan and Algerian bloggers had much to say about his re-election. Prior to the win, Algerian-American The Moor Next Door said:

The Algerian presidential campaign is dominated by Abdelaziz Bouteflika, substantively and visually. So vigorous has been his campaign that Boutelfika skipped the Arab Summit in Doha, sending FM Medelci instead. Others have attempted to initiate their own narratives — this is implicit in Hanoune’s, as she is a Trotskyite, and it is increasingly clear in Mohamed Said’s campaign, though he was an remains a relative unknown. Touati has for the most part tried to coopt Bouteflika’s platform using a different face, and Younsi and Rebiane have used their campaigns as platforms to attack the regime, with the former’s platform being the more dissident of the two, ideologically speaking

Larbi [fr], commenting on the margin by which Bouteflika won, said:

Félicitations au Candidat Abdelaziz qui rentre dans notre top 5 à la troisième place.

Bachar Al-Assad reste toujours à la tête du classement avec un score de 97% (réélu le 29 mai 2007).

Au deuxième rang on retrouve un fidèle à l'émission: Zine el-Abidine qui obtient 94,49 % (réélu 24 octobre 2004).

Puis le jeune Abdelaziz qui avec ses 90,24% d’hier est troisième. Un rang honorable tant la compétition est rude et il y a de nombreux joueurs qui ne déméritent pas.

Congratulations to Candidate Abdelaziz for coming in third in the top 5.

Bashar Al-Assad is still in the lead with a score of 97% (re-elected on 29 May 2007).

In second place we find someone ever faithful: Zine el-Abidine obtains 94.49% (re-elected 24 October 2004).

Then the young Abdelaziz who with 90.24% yesterday is third. An honorable rank as the competition is fierce and there are many players who never lose points.

At Bilad Tlisman [Ar], Algerian blogger Baroudi doesn't necessarily agree:

إن الذين يذرفون دموع التماسيح على الحرية هم أولئك الذين حجزوا لوحدهم دون سواهم تذكرة الحجر على هذه الديموقراطية لأن الجزائر برأيهم غاشي وليست أمة وتاريخا وكيانا. الذين يتباكون الديمقراطية هم هؤلاء الذين يمجدون سنوات غيابها. والذين يبكون الديموقراطية في الجزائر هم الطيف السياسي الذي حجز الصحف المعربة وأغلق باب المطابع في وجه كل صوت عربي ذات يوم. الذين يبكون الديموقراطية في الجزائر لأن شخصا اسمه عبد العزيز بوتفليقة فاز بولاية ثالثة هؤلاء هم أنفسهم الذين باركوا الحجر على ثوابت الأمة من لغة ودين وهم الذين باركوا تصفية المدرسة الجزائرية وهم الذين صفقوا طويلا لقتل العربية في عقر دارها بل هم الذين طالبوا بجعلها في المرتبة الثالثة. هؤلاء ليسوا صادقين لأنهم ظلوا يحاربون قيم الأمة و معتقداتها الوطنية بل ويشككون في قدرة الأمة على النهوض بواسطة مقوماتها. إن المواطن في الجزائر أصبح لاهتم لخطاب الديمقراطية لأن من رفعوا راية هذه الديمقراطية ذات يوم كذبوا عليه واحتالوا علينا.
Those who shed crocodile tears on freedom are the ones who have quarantined this democracy with their own hands as Algeria, in their opinion is a tyranny and not a nation, with history and an entity. Those who pretend to cry over democracy are those who praise the years of its absence. Those who cry over democracy in Algeria belong to the political spectrum which once shut down Arabized newspapers and closed printers in the face of every Arab voice. Those who cry over democracy in Algeria because some one called Abdelaziz Bouteflika has won for a third term are the ones who have blessed the ban on the fundamentals of this nation, such as language and religion. They are the ones who blessed the assassination of the Algerian School, and are the ones who clapped long for the murder of the Arabic language in its own home, and have even called for making it a third category language. Those people are not sincere and have continued to fight the values of this nation and its national beliefs and have also suspected the ability of this nation to rise, using its own potential. People in Algeria are not interested in the democracy dialogue, because those who carry the banner of democracy are the ones who have once lied to them and cheated them.

Citoyen Hmida had a few choice remarks as well:

Seul candidat crédible, seul candidat ayant accès aux médias officiels, seul candidat bénéficiant de tous les moyens de l’état pour mener sa campagne, seul candidat à avoir une chance d’être élu, seul candidat à bénéficier du soutien logistique d’un parti, seul candidat à avoir exercé le pouvoir et à en connaître les arcanes et les arnaques, Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA a été le seul candidat à pouvoir devenir (ou plutôt à rester) président !

The only credible candidate, the only candidate who has access to official media, the only candidate benefiting from all the resources of the state to conduct his campaign, the only candidate with a chance of being elected, the only candidate to receive logistical support from a party, the only candidate to have exercised power and know the inside stories and scams, Abdelaziz Bouteflika was the only candidate able to become (or rather to remain) President!

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