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AssessmentsDec 9, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
Algerian demonstrators carry placards reading "This vote will never take place" in French in regard to the Dec. 12 presidential election, during a march in Algiers on Dec. 6, 2019.
Algeria's Transition Gets an Electoral Litmus Test
In Algeria, elections are not the same as democracy, at least as far as the country's opposition is concerned. On Dec. 12, the country is scheduled to hold a presidential election following two previous delays, in spite of opposition demands that authorities hold off until they implement deeper reforms following the ouster in April of longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. For one, the elections will test what Algerian activists and the opposition are willing to accept from the interim government in terms of political reform following 10 months of protests. Second, the elections will test just how far the Algerian military and security forces are willing to go to subdue the opposition if the latter rejects the government's overtures -- in this case, rush elections. How the poll plays out will show whether the protest movement can force a new political paradigm and continue to extract small concessions from the political
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AssessmentsJun 4, 2019 | 19:16 GMT
Protesters bearing an Algerian flag march in Algiers on May 31, 2019.
In Algeria, a Test of the Limits of Reform Approaches
Two months ago -- and just a few weeks before he was to stand for reelection -- Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, bowing to pressure from protesters opposed to him standing for a fifth term in office, resigned after 20 years at the country's helm. National elections were canceled soon after the ailing ruler stepped down, and the interim government scheduled a July 4 vote to choose the next president. But under pressure from the protesters, which had coalesced into a powerful nationwide movement, and facing a lack of viable candidates, the rescheduled election now has also been postponed. While the protesters succeeded in forcing Bouteflika out, they have been unable to drive any profound changes in the structure of the Algerian government. Beyond the weakening of the presidential office, with the presidency likely to remain vacant and its powers diminished for some time to come, the system of rule in
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AssessmentsMay 31, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A Sonatrach gas complex in Skikda, Algeria.
The Geopolitics of Sonatrach: A History Interwoven With Algeria's
Algeria's ongoing economic crisis and subsequent paralysis of its oil sector set the stage for the protest movement that ultimately ousted longtime President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika in April. Whoever emerges from the fray to head Algeria's political system next will need to reform the country's oil and gas sector to boost its economy. At the same time, they will need to balance the political power and interests of its national oil company Sonatrach.
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GuidanceMar 13, 2019 | 21:13 GMT
Protesters rally in Algiers on March 8 against President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term. Bouteflika announced on March 11 that he would not seek re-election and then postponed the country's April 18 presidential election.
Algeria Reaches a Transitional Moment
Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika announced on March 11 that he would not run for a fifth term after all. He also postponed, without setting a new date, the country's presidential election that had been scheduled for April 18. Furthermore, Bouteflika repeated a call he made last week to convene a national conference by the end of the year to plan Algeria's future. A government reshuffle also followed Bouteflika's announcement. Officially scuttling plans for Bouteflika to run for a fifth term is remarkable for Algeria, where 53 percent of the population is under 30 and barely knows another president. But even though Bouteflika's announcement underlines the importance of the current transitional moment in Algeria, it also highlights how the ruling powers remain firmly in control, and that they are still struggling to hand off power to a new generation in a way that satisfies all the stakeholders in the Algerian government.
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AssessmentsOct 19, 2017 | 21:33 GMT
Algeria's prime minister has announced a five-year plan to solve his country's economic woes.
Algeria Goes It Alone
Algeria's economy is teetering on its precarious foundations. The government knows it needs to enact reforms to prevent economic collapse, but its approach is to rely on what it knows best: isolation. After energy prices tumbled in 2014, Algeria -- which depends heavily on hydrocarbons, even compared with other energy exporters in the region -- opted to burn through its saving rather than borrow money abroad. But that measure is proving unsustainable. Recent estimates revealed that Algeria's cash reserves could dip below $100 billion in the next couple of months, prompting the government to try a different strategy. In September, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced a five-year plan to reduce his country's ballooning budget deficit by borrowing directly from the central bank. The plan aims to solve Algeria's economic woes while still avoiding international debt markets, and includes proposals for structural reform to accompany five years of financing, drawn
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Quarterly ForecastsApr 10, 2017 | 11:42 GMT
Trade will be at the forefront of many leaders' minds this quarter.
2017 Second-Quarter Forecast
Trade will be at the forefront of many leaders' minds this quarter as a new U.S. administration settles into the White House. Uncertainty surrounding the White House's intentions will linger, prompting the United States' biggest trade partners to look for new economic relationships elsewhere. Some will leverage security cooperation and promises of investment to get on Washington's good side -- or, at the very least, to try to fend off its punitive action.
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