Algeria (MNN) — The question Algerians are asking is: “Can a 77-year-old man of bad health run a country?”
Last Thursday, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was reelected, marking the beginning of his fourth term.
World Watch Monitor tells us of the concern many Algerians expressed before the election. Many parties called for a boycott of the election. Others remained apathetic, expecting little chance for any of the other candidates. Some were overwhelmed by the feeling of powerlessness toward the future of their country.
WWM says Algerians are under no illusion that elections are fair. They believe the presidents to be ultimately appointed by the Army, what is the true power holder of Algeria.
Each term runs five years, meaning Bouteflika will be 82 at the end of this term.
Last year, the President suffered a stroke.
According to BBC News, Bouteflika is often credited for curbing conflict and restoring economic stability in 1999. However, he has exceeded the two terms allowed by constitutional rules.
BBC News says voting participation was down nearly 15% from 2009. When the President announced his candidacy, three other candidates pulled out from the running, assuming they didn’t have a chance. Bouteflika’s main challenger believes the elections were irregular.
Out of all six candidates who remained in the running, none expressed any concern over the Christian minority in Algeria. Christians make up 1% of the 38 million inhabitants. Under a previous term, Bouteflika passed a law forcing churches to register with the state. The law also outlaws evangelism to Muslims and any material meant for that purpose.
A common concern among all Algerians is the desire to keep peace and not descend into violence like Egypt, Syria, or Libya.
Ask God to remove the apathy that has struck so many citizens and leaders. Ask Him to guide the country to a path enabling Christians to share the love of Christ freely.