As the Bouteflika Era Ends, Crisis or Continuity for Algeria?

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika applauds after taking the oath as President, Algiers, April 28, 2014 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika applauds after taking the oath as President, Algiers, April 28, 2014 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).

The ailing health of Algeria’s aging president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, commonly leads Algeria-watchers to assess the prospects for regime continuity and the risks of political instability in what amounts to an interregnum. Both make up chapters of the country’s recent history. Over the past 25 years, Algerians lived through 10 traumatic years of insurgency and counterinsurgency, sometimes called the Dark Decade that shook the country to its foundations from 1991-2002, followed by a decade and a half of peace under Bouteflika. Bouteflika, along with his predecessor Liamine Zeroual, negotiated the laying down of arms and reconciliation—albeit an imperfect one—among armed groups […]

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