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The gerontocracy of Algeria resists the attacks of the young majority

2020-12-01T07:36:08.420Z

A group of elders has controlled the military and civil leadership for more than six decades in a country whose average age is 29 years



Abdelmayid Tebún, the convalescent president in Algeria is 74 years old.

He was transferred urgently and hospitalized in Berlin since Wednesday, October 28.

At first, the presidency did not disclose his illness and after several weeks announced that he had covid-19.

He has been admitted for more than a month.

If Tebún dies, the Constitution provides that the interim substitute is the president of the Senate, whose incumbent, Salah Gudjil, is 89 years old.

Gudjil is six years older than Abdelaziz Buteflika, the man who has presided over the country for the past two decades, until he was forced to resign in 2019, after six weeks of massive protests.

The list of older people with power continues with the Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Yerad (66 years old), the Government Spokesperson and Minister of Communication, Ammar Belhimer (65), the Minister of Labor, Hachemi Djaâboub (65), the Minister of Energy, Abdelmadjid Attar (74), or the president of the National Independent Authority for Elections (Anie), Mohamed Charfie (74).

The real strongman of the country, the Chief of the General Staff, General Said Chengrinha, is also 74 years old.

His predecessor, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, died last December when he was about to turn 80.

Most of the military personnel in the most relevant positions, such as regional chiefs and commanders of the air, naval, land and anti-aircraft forces, are over 65. This entire gerontocracy controls a country of 43.8 million inhabitants. whose average age is 29 years.

Many of them have held high positions since Algeria gained its independence in 1962, after eight years of war.

Haizam Amirah Fernández, a researcher at the Real Instituto Elcano analysis center, believes that the contrast between the gerontocracy and the young majority of the population was reflected in the referendum that the current president organized on November 1 to reform the Constitution promoted by the regime.

That election, held on the anniversary of the war of independence against France (1954-1962), resulted in the victory of the

yes

but with a participation of only 23.7%, the lowest in the history of the country.

"The date chosen was very illustrative," explains Amirah Fernández.

“For the generation of the ruling elite, November 1 [anniversary of the Algerian revolution for independence] is a mark of power.

But for 50% of the population it is a history book with yellowed pages.

It is the search for a legitimacy that is quite far away.

The power tries to use tricks that are very popular;

they fail to enthuse or fool anyone.

In the referendum only 13.7% of those registered voted in favor ”.

The fact that the country's president had to enter Berlin in the midst of a pandemic illustrates, according to Amirah Fernández, the failure of one way of governing: “There is a feeling in Algeria at the end of the reign.

Not the end of a person, but of a generation.

They are old people who do not want shocks, who act with a paternalistic message with the population;

they demand obedience with an outdated style.

And if the Algerian population demonstrated something with the peaceful protests that began in February 2019, it is their political maturity ”.

Student riots

The great promoters of the

Hirak

, the peaceful protest movement that began on February 22, 2019 in Algeria with the intention of changing the regime, are students.

Some of the referents of the protests, those who have paid or are paying with their freedom for the repression of the regime, do not exceed 50 years.

Thus, the opposition Karim Tabú, who has spent ten months in jail accused of violating the morals of the State, is 46 years old.

And the journalist who reported the demonstrations with the most attention was Khaled Drareni, who is 40 years old and has been imprisoned since March, accused of inciting the

Hirak

and violating national integrity.

The European Parliament called on November 25 for Drareni to be released unconditionally and immediately.

Of those

mujahideen

(fighters defending Islam) who fought against France, there were also and there are those who went out with the youth of the

Hirak

to protest in the streets, to demand democracy and freedoms.

One of the most beloved is Lakhdar Burega, 87.

Burega died on Wednesday, November 4, due to covid-19.

Before dying, he spent seven months in prison, from June 2019 to last January, for participating in the peaceful protests.

The political scientist Adlene Mohammedi points out from France that he does not believe that there is such a generational division: “Many young people have been breastfed with the ideology of power and are often worse than others when they are in government or in Parliament.

And there are also elders who act as

engines

for the

Hirak

.

They have things to say and sometimes they know something more than the mediocrity of power.

An Algerian analyst who prefers to hide his name indicates from Algiers: “Sometimes age is not related to the head.

Joe Biden [the president-elect of the United States] is 78 years old.

But it does not occur to him to say that electronic payment is very complicated, as has been said here.

There is something worse than not understanding young people and that is not understanding the world, the current economic challenges.

Most oil-producing countries have already undertaken reforms to not depend on oil.

Here it seems that we are still in the 70's ”.

“Power”, says the same source, “speaks of promoting

start-ups

[young companies focused on the digital world], but without an efficient banking system to work with electronic payment.

It's like making helipads and no roads.

The ministers go to the Chinese Embassy to say that we export, when everyone knows that nothing is exported ”.

“The problem”, concludes the aforementioned analyst, “is not age, but the lack of legitimacy of this power.

When you are a bit upright you don't want to agree to work with them ”.

In this sense, the Algerian political scientist Raouf Farrah also expresses himself from Tunisia: “In an Algeria where half of the population is less than 30 years old, the gerontocracy of the regime is a reality that is difficult to refute.

But I think the most important thing is elsewhere.

Since 1962 [when the war of independence ends], the Algerian regime has made historical legitimacy one of the rents of the exercise of power.

Almost sixty years later, the

gerontes

become guarantors of the temple;

they want to perpetuate an outdated political system, rejected in an exemplary way since the popular movement of February 22.

The gerontocracy is, therefore, the expression of the deeply undemocratic character of the regime in power ”.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2020-12-01

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