Beyond the Headlines podcast: Bouteflika bids goodbye to power in Algeria

Apr 04, 03:12 PM

After weeks of mounting protest, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has stepped down, ending 20 years as the country’s ruler.  

While the moment is historic, protesters – many of whom won’t remember a time before Mr Bouteflika was their president – are not finished. 

Fear that a younger, healthier version of the ailing 82-year old will step into his place or that the army may co-opt power, they say they will push on to ensure a real democratic transition. 

After years of economic stagnation after oil revenue – the backbone of the economy – collapsed when oil prices fell in 2014, people are calling for a brighter future. Unemployment is high, costs are rising and many felt that there would be no future if Mr Bouteflika had won a fifth term in the election that was supposed to take place in April. 

But now, they say they are turning a new page in their country’s history.

In this week’s Beyond the Headlines, The National’s Foreign Editor James Haines-Young speaks to Chellali Khalil who has been part of the protests since the start, and Algerian researcher Tin Hinane El Kadi from the London School of Economics to ask how the country got here and what comes next.