by Solomon Anker
April 9th saw the Presidential Election in Algeria. The final result was an expected easy victory (90%) for the current President Boutiflika, in a country where he and his strong links to the military dominate the country’s political elites. Calling Boutiflika a dictator would be a bit harsh: however calling Algeria’s elections fully free would also not be totally true, but for the left-wing the results and the state of Algerian politics is quite interesting.
The election came 7 years after the end of the Algerian civil war which saw over 100,000 killed in a brutal conflict between government forces and Islamist militias. For the British media, Algeria is just another Muslim or African country in crisis and few people take any interest except for the marginal Western interests such as terrorist attacks linked to Al Qaeda or issues of immigration.