Algerian election faces disaffected populace

April 16, 2014 10:37 AM

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Boycotting is the main form of protest against an election that 77-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is expected to win despite his glaring absence, because powerful institutions of the state are firmly wedded to maintaining Algeria’s status quo. But dissatisfaction in this key energy producer and U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism is growing in the face of a sclerotic political system that does little to include the 80 percent of the population of 37 million under the age of 45.

“After we finish our studies there’s only unemployment and you need connections to get to work,” said Redouane Baba Abdi, as he sat on a bench before the game on the paved esplanade between the Mediterranean sea and the flaking colonial-era buildings of Bab el-Oued neighborhood. “Most people don’t w...

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