The Algerian government is under pressure after Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fifth term.
Rabat – A recording allegedly of top Algerian officials discussing the 2019 Algerian election has been sweeping Algerian social media, angering Algerian activists.
The leaked recording is allegedly a conversation between Abdelmalek Sellal, the former prime minister who is leading President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s campaign, and Ali Haddad, the chairman of the Forum of Business Leaders (FCE).
In the conversation, Sellal said that the group supporting Bouteflika’s fifth term “started to withdraw.”
Haddad then replied that the group was “afraid.”
Sellal also spoke about how ministers had not managed to get last week’s protests against Bouteflika under control.
He said that he was also surprised that the vast majority of ministers stayed home last Friday during the massive protests against Bouteflika’s campaign.
Sellal said that the government would instruct gendarmes to confront the protesters, and the security service would not go easy on protesters.
The recording has not been authenticated, reported Algerian news outlets. However, Observe Algerie quoted one source who said that he is “certain of the authenticity of the recording.”
The source added that he had two hypotheses about how the recording got leaked.
“The first is that there is a group within the system who opposes the fifth term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The second is that its a maneuver to spread messages and fear among protesters.”
On Friday, February 22, a massive crowd took to the streets across Algeria to condemn Bouteflika’s campaign.
When Bouteflika announced his campaign, a group of Algerians launched a campaign using the hashtag “Let_Him_Rest,” emphasizing that the president is being pressured to run.
Algerian security services arrested 41 protesters last week.