The current president and great candidate to repeat in the post, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, appeared at last Thursday outside his official residence and its confinement to go to vote in person, but did so in a peculiar wheelchair. Intended to be an image of normality, although not offered for almost two years, but was also very metaphorical. Still very sick but his appearance was not as bad as symptomatic. Your future creates uncertainty. As the country. On the day another great debate, participation and feared electoral fraud, will have to wait for more reliable data.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, appeared Thursday mid-morning to vote for a fourth term in power at the polling station in his neighborhood, El Bachir El Ibrahimi, El Biar, well wrapped. The site had been cordoned off several hours earlier. Also for journalists. Television broadcast live what. It was an unusual event. Two years ago that was not seen in public, on the street. It came sitting on a office chair with wheels enabled, driven and escorted by two brothers, Nacer Said and the dreaded, and one of his nephews, wearing glasses. He came to the polling station and was offered several ballots. He was put in a cab and then he could teach his ID, voted and greeted reporters with whom he did not speak. He waved both arms. No rose.
Photography and video were immediately reproduced by the Algerian media and immediately began to improvise on social networks reconstruction of that image, that many jokes, caricatures and ironies about the race or guarantee the succession was provided under the scheme. Apart from the opportunity of jokes, discussion of political, economic and strategic future of the country also involves what happens to Bouteflika from Friday. The debate over how your estate will be, when it will start and who is the incarnate latent until the results of the election is known.
But this concern, uncertainty about the future when it will start, while causing tension between the parties involved, the different branches of the system, and certainly in the media. These days it is common to read headlines with words like chaos, violence, fear and of course the great dilemma, “change or status quo.” It is true that the campaign has been hard, and as it approached its end and the president himself is encouraged to stake their many strategic arts, but talk of violence and chaos seems exaggerated. Nothing.
“I did not vote, I am in favor of the boycott, I think that Bouteflika is not a promise of anything and the other, the other candidates are more of the same. What I want is for this country to function normally, that there is so much bureaucracy, everything is not so slow that many roles for all are not needed “is how Tahar explains the discomfort of his generation, the younger, in outside a market in a popular neighborhood west of Algiers. There is work but require ” a different lifestyle.” And in that complaint come many intangibles.
Young people are very reluctant. Almost half of the country, are very tempted by the public authorities and subsidies, but few are attractive to their future, not only for control and gaps in civil liberties. They are very disbelievers and that they even carried the fear of large abstention in these elections.
The first data on Thursday Quote emerged as positive compared to other but were very low estimates. According to Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz, participation began in the early hours of the morning with an influx of 9.15% of the nearly 23 million Algerians called, almost double that in 2004 when in theory it was presented before him as a serious challenger Ali Benflis. The official participation was finally in 51.7 %, the lowest since Bouteflika became president. The province with the highest abstinence – only voted 20% – Tizi Ouzou was in Kabylia.
In the presidential elections of 2009, when President Bouteflika and presented almost without rival, garnered 90 % of votes with a turnout of 74.5 %. His best opponent was just over 1%. Benflis not attend. Yes was his opponent in 2004 and then added the 6.4 % of the vote compared to 85% of the president. They are also old enemies. Bouteflika appointed him his right hand three years during his first term in 1999, then he wanted to make his campaign manager and now feels betrayed. So the duel has had on this occasion some dyes fratricidal rematch.
The other big fear is voter fraud. In one of the Wikileaks cables known, a U.S. official came to encrypt the percentage of fraud in elections in Algeria about 25 % or 30%. Was the great accusation made by Bouteflika ‘s main rival in this election. Africans have just gone official observers.