In Algeria, the Beginning of the End for Politics as Usual

MIN READFeb 28, 2019 | 10:00 GMT

A billboard of Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika gets taken down in protest of fifth run for the presidency.

Algerians tear down a large billboard with a picture of their current President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika during a demonstration against his candidacy for a fifth term in the country’s capital of Algiers.

(RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images)

On April 18, Algerians will head to the polls to either re-elect incumbent President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, or replace him with one of a raft of opposition candidates who have entered the race. But unlike past elections, there is a small chance that this next presidential election -- and the social unrest that surrounds it -- could spur lasting change in Algeria. A weak economy, along with a political system that is seemingly unable (or unwilling) to fix it, has driven a wave of opposition support, increasing the likelihood of unprecedented turnout at the polls and potentially, the streets. But even if this year's presidential bid doesn't result in a new government, the next one almost certainly will -- as this upcoming election marks just the beginning of a new era in Algerian politics....

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