Algeria's 'Smile Revolution' Boils Below the Radar

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Posted: Oct 09, 2019 12:01 AM

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Algeria’s first nationwide protest occurred Friday, Feb. 22, some 16 days after then-President (for life) Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front (FNL) caregivers published a letter announcing the hospitalized stroke victim would run for a fifth term in 2019.

By mid-March, even the FNL’s hardened, corrupt old guard realized “the Friday protests” opposing Bouteflika and his clique had become a careful but powerful mass insurrection.

On April 2, the Friday protests, protests on other weekdays and a general strike forced Bouteflika to resign the presidency. He was said to be receiving treatment in a Swiss hospital. The acting prime minister appointed an interim government whose president would hold office until July.

But the protests didn’t end. Oct. 4 marked 33 straight Fridays with anti-government demonstrations in Algeria’s major cities and towns. Though observers report the number of protestors has begun to dwindle, everyone expects demonstrations will occur Oct. 11 and continue at least until the Dec. 12 presidential election. And yes, the interim government remains in power, though it lacks

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