Protesters in Algeria rejected the presidential election and its victor, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Algeria swore in former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune as its new president on Thursday, a week after an election marked by low-turnout and mass protests. The newly sworn-in president named Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum as interim prime minister and Housing Minister Kamel Beljoud as interior minister. They respectively replace Noureddine Bedoui and Salah Eddine Dahmoune, both of whom were highly unpopular with protesters. Tebboune said remaining ministers would keep assuming their responsibilities in a caretaker capacity.
Algeria’s constitutional council confirmed Monday that former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune won last week's presidential election with 58% of the vote. Tebboune will be sworn in on Thursday. The election was held despite widespread public opposition that led to a low 33% turnout as monthslong protests demand an overhaul of the ruling class.
Algeria held its presidential election on Thursday amid widespread public opposition to the vote. Thousands of people rallied in the capital Algiers and other cities, destroying polling stations and ballot boxes. Turnout was just over 33% two hours before polls closed, according to officials. Protesters have boycotted the election they see as a tool for ruling elites to keep their hold on the country. All five candidates in the elections are either supporters of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika or have served under him. No results have yet been announced.
Turnout to Algeria’s elections could be as low as 10%, and any winner is likely to be weak, unable to impose policy without compromise and negotiation.
After hounding longtime dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office, protesters are now campaigning to stop the flawed process to replace him.
The trial of two former Algerian prime ministers began on Wednesday ahead of next week's presidential election. Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal appeared in court in Algiers. Their trial is the first since authorities launched a crackdown on corruption targeting several former officials and well-connected businessmen following President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation in April. Weekly anti-regime demonstrations continue, with Algerians demanding that the Dec. 12 presidential elections be delayed until more of the ruling elite steps down.
Samuel Ramani writes: Through a synthesis of targeted diplomatic outreach, economic and security incentives, and soft-power-building efforts, Russia has preserved its leverage in Sudan during a year of severe political turmoil. Due to Sudan’s strategic location on the Red Sea and long history of aligning with Russia on diplomatic crises ranging from the annexation of Crimea to the Syrian civil war, Russia has a vested interest in the country’s political future and will try to shape the course of its transition to democracy in the months to come. – Middle East Institute
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