We knew this already

“There is a large consensus inside the military as well as within the political class that Bouteflika should be Algeria’s next president.”

So it has been settled. This offers an interesting point for comparison between the US and Algeria. In the United States, when a major newspaper rejects a presidential candidate specifically, it carries a bit of weight. When such a newspaper endorses one, it is considered a bellwether of where the political classes may be leaning. In contrast, when Algerian newspapers makes one of these moves, it is irrelevant. Political agency rests not in the hands of civilian civil society elements or the voting body politic, but rather in the hands of a rather closed ex-revolutionary praetorian elite. This is one of the factors that distinguishes a liberal democracy from an illiberal one. The quote above indicates that there will be not only a referendum on amending the constitution to allow for a third presidential term, but that such a referendum will pass, and likely by a wide margin.


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