Wednesday, April 09, 2014


The National has a profile of Barakat, the movement opposing Bouteflika's re-election in Algeria:
Activists of the Barakat (Enough) movement have made their mark by daring to argue publicly that the 77-year-old Mr Bouteflika, who is too sick to take to the campaign trail himself, is unfit to govern..
Barakat has branches in 20 of Algeria’s 48 provinces and has organised eight demonstrations since March 1, Ms Bouraoui says.
The movement is campaigning for a boycott of the April 17 election, which it describes as a "masquerade" and "another affront to the Algerian people."
Made up mostly of activists in their 20s and 30s, the movement has so far failed to draw large crowds to its rallies, and is unlikely to prevent the expected re-election of the incumbent.
But it remains a surprise factor and an irritant for the president’s campaign team, who have responded with allegations that the new group is a tool of foreign powers.
You can read interviews with the founders here and here.  The movement bears a striking resemblance to the Kefaya movement which began a decade ago in Egypt.  Both are small organizations with a name translatable into "enough" in English which struggle to attract people, but open space for political criticism and discussion through their activities.  In addition, both seek to reform the regime motivated by the spark of an unacceptable development in regime longevity rather than immediate revolution.  Kefaya was focused on presenting a succession between Husni Mubarak and his son Gamal, whereas Barakat focuses on Bouteflika's quest for a fourth term despite being too ill to campaign.



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