Foreign Policy Digital

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up About Algeria

The Middle East’s latest protests seem like the Arab Spring all over again. That’s no reason for optimism.

It is hard not to be awestruck by events in Algeria over the last three weeks. Once again, a Middle Eastern autocrat tried to put one over on his people. By now, anyone with even a passing interest in the headlines knows that the country’s behind-the-scenes leaders decided to put the incumbent president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forward for a fifth term. The hubris of Algeria’s generals and other power brokers to hand the presidency to a man who had a debilitating stroke in 2013 was clearly too much for people. Having no institutional mechanism to oppose this decision, Algerians put their foot down, declared they were not going to take it, and headed out to the streets en masse. With

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