Algeria: Bouteflika, grandeur and decadence.

Algeria, Bouteflika, # Algeria, Bouteflika,

The former President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was buried yesterday in the cemetery of El Alia as if he were a simple citizen or almost.

His successor, Abdelmadjid Tebboune certainly offered him an official funeral by even deciding to put the national flag at half mast for three days and throughout the country, but this did not really give the emotional dimension that would be appropriate for the event.

Despite the presence of the Head of State, the Chief of Staff of the ANP and senior officials, Bouteflika’s funeral had embarrassed many people. The discretion that surrounded the burial ceremony says a lot about this official embarrassment of “managing” an event which, beyond its human dimension, raises sometimes vengeful and disproportionate passions.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika has, unfortunately for him, not been able to capitalize on his twenty years in power, at least during the first two terms in which he enjoyed all his physical capacities. His determination to refuse to be a ¾ of president was undermined from his first health concerns. Weakened, he lost control of business to those who would indulge in grand corruption and economic delinquency.

Obviously, it is a long way from its historic presidency of the 29th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1974, and its decision to remove the representatives of the South African apartheid regime from the work, or to bring up the rostrum. the valiant Yasser Arafat… This Bouteflika there, who led the Algerian diplomacy with the baton, had a great symbolic capital that one likes it or not.

Ironically, this man who will have marked the transition in Algeria between devastating terrorism and the reconstruction of the country via his return to the concert of nations, has ended his long reign very badly. Algerians now remember almost nothing of what this moudjahid and this brilliant diplomat was. His sickly attachment to power had blinded him so much that he squandered all the sympathy capital that his brilliant stint in foreign affairs had given him.

Regardless of what one might think of this skittish man and his track record, it is still sad that he ends up like this. No matter how much we transported his remains in a float decorated with flowers from the Republican Guard, the people who mourn their dead charismatic leaders were not there yesterday. The atmosphere yesterday at El Alia cemetery was truly that of death. Literally as well as figuratively.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika with a high verb and ample gesture, which stirred up crowds to delirium, was buried in incredible silence. It certainly ended badly willy-nilly. It was written that he was going to be swept away by the popular uprising of February 22, 2019 during which more than 20 million Algerians had taken to the streets of all the cities of the country to tell him stop the humiliation of a fifth mandate.

Bouteflika, so proud and so anxious to afford a funeral worthy of the great leaders of the world in the manner of Boumediene, will finally have reached his last home almost in anonymity. Even public television did not broadcast the event! A sign that we want to save face. An official funeral, of course, but without the flowers and youyous …

In 2021, Bouteflika’s corpse has, in a few hours, become cumbersome, including for President Tebboune who will have had the lucidity to offer him more than he deserves, namely a presidential funeral and the half-masting of the national flag. For the rest, Bouteflika undergoes, reluctantly, the merciless law of decadence after having profited until the overdose of greatness, for two decades.

May this tragic end of a man who has “succeeded” the consensus against him, serve as an example not to follow those who will have the bad idea to turn their backs on their people by succumbing to the intoxication of power.

Par Imane B.

Eastern Republican, 09/20/2021

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