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Algeria: Bouteflika’s Presidency in Question | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika (R) shakes hands with Algerian Oil Minister and OPEC President Chakib Khelil. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo

Algeria- A nation-wide power struggle took over Algeria’s ruling hierarchy concerning rising controversy over the succession of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

His brother and chief adviser, Saed Bouteflika, is rumored to be seeking his own chance at being president in the upcoming 2019 elections.

More so, a former presidential candidate called for President Bouteflika’s ousting.

Noureddine Boukrouh, former minister of commerce and 1995 presidential candidate, posted on his Facebook page a statement questioning Bouteflika’s mental and physical state which if compromised, would render him underqualified to lead the nation.

“This means that we are no longer facing a physically challenged man. We are in front of a mentally helpless man which inevitably necessitates his disqualification. His confused actions and statements endanger the country,” said Boukrouh.

For the first time, a well-known person in the country, who is not a member of the opposition, has dared to declare that Bouteflika is no longer capable of running the government.

The president suffered a stroke on April 27, 2013. He is wheelchair-bound and has lost control of his senses.

Boukrouh highlighted leaks from the pro-president Al-Nahar channel, which said two days ago that Bouteflika was angry with Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Tebboune has been in Paris for a week, meeting with French Prime Minister Edward Philippe in an informal setting. Al-Nahar said Bouteflika was not aware of the meeting, fueling rumors of a supposed row between them.

Following the meeting, media outlets close to the Algerian president unleashed a storm of criticism against Tebboune.

However, the presidency was aware of the bilateral meeting between Tebboune and Philippe, according to the report of Mondafrique. The newspaper stated that the presidency was waiting for an invitation from France to hold an “official” meeting.

The Algerian prime minister did not wait for the permission of the presidency because the meeting with Philippe was very urgent, especially after the French Senates Committee published a report that may damage Tebboune’s reputation, according to Mondafrique’s sources.