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Algeria: Politician calls on Bouteflika to follow Mugabe and resign

Algerian President, AbdelAziz Bouteflika. [File photo]
Algerian President, AbdelAziz Bouteflika. [File photo]

Algeria’s Justice and Development Front leader, Sheikh Abdallah Djaballah, has called on Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign from his position as president as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe did this week.

“I hope that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will follow the example of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, and I think that it is good for him in this world and in the Hereafter,” Djaballah said in an interview with Quds Press yesterday.

Djaballah hoped Bouteflika would break the infamous rule of Arab leaders who only hand over power under compelling circumstances of death or popular revolt.

He said: “Unfortunately, it is as if the Arabs were born with the will to become leaders, although their situation is like the head of garlic which is seen from outside as one entity, but if approached it shows that it is formed from a set of different cloves and this is the reason for the failure of our democratic transition.”

Read: Algeria denies report Bouteflika intends to run for fifth term

He pointed out that “Africa in general has shown that its leaders are keener than Arabs on their own people’s right to self-determination, being more concerned about the interests of their people than Arab leaders and commanders.”

Arab leaders are strongly attached to rule and leadership, linking their fate with their presence in power. They fear punishment because of the extreme harm they caused to their people.

There have been numerous calls for Bouteflika to step down or announce that he will not be running for a fifth term during the 2019 elections.

The 80-year-old President suffered a stroke in April 2013 which left him confined to a wheelchair. He has rarely appeared in public since.

Bouteflika came to power in 1999 and was elected to a fourth term of five years in the presidential election on 17 April 2014 with 82 per cent of the vote. This was considered as the most controversial vote in the nation’s history because of the president’s difficult health situation.

On Tuesday, Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe after 37 years.

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