Hannah Armstrong


19 March 2014

Power struggles in Algiers

Abdelaziz Bouteflika will be standing for a fourth term as president of Algeria, even though he hasn’t spoken in public since having a stroke a year ago. His re-election in April seems more or less assured. For the last six months he’s been engaged in a much tougher struggle, against the chief of the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité, General Mohamed ‘Toufik’ Mediene. ‘The enormous power of the intelligence services,’ as Hugh Roberts has put it, ‘has long been the open secret of Algerian political life.’