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US News Algeria plunged into uncertainty after a month of absence of President Tebboune positive for Covid-19

18:55  28 november  2020
18:55  28 november  2020 Source:   france24.com

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After the coronavirus pandemic spread to Algeria , prominent figures within the opposition Amid calls for a boycott, there was a low-turnout on polling day, but Abdelmadjid Tebboune , a former prime The protests continued until last month . Algeria , Africa’s biggest gas exporter, faces mounting economic

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Le président algérien, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, à Alger, le 21 janvier 2020. © Ryad Kramdi, AFP Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in Algiers, January 21, 2020.

Rumors and speculations are increasing in Algeria on the state of health of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, since his hospitalization in Germany last month, following contamination with Covid-19.

One month after emergency transfer of Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Germany to be treated for Covid-19, opacity remains on the state of health of the Algerian president, fueling rumors and questions about the direction of the country.

The 75-year-old head of state was admitted on October 28 in "one of the largest specialized establishments in Germany", without specifying the location. He has been away for at least five weeks. Because he was "voluntarily in isolation" from October 24, the date of his last tweet , after having been in contact with senior government officials contaminated, then admitted "to a specialized care unit of the military hospital of Ain Naâdja in Algiers. "His state of health does not inspire any concern", then assured the presidency. But rumors are now rife.

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"This long absence for illness, coupled with a ' protocol 'tongue-in-cheek information indicates that the president is really ill ", observes Algerian political scientist Mohamed Hennad. The absence of Abdelmadjid Tebboune has awakened the specter of the vacancy in power during hospitalizations abroad of Abdelaziz Bouteflika after his serious stroke in 2013.

Contradictory information

Following this episode, it was his brother Saïd who ruled the country and tried with the presidential clan to impose a fifth term of Abdelaziz Bouteflik a, pushing Algerians to take to the streets en masse in February 2019. The latter will resign on April 2, 2019 under the double pressure of the army and the popular uprising, unprecedented and peaceful, of Hirak .

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Since his departure - for Cologne and aboard a French medical plane, according to Algerian media -, six press releases , summary and sometimes contradictory, were distilled by the presidency. Thus, after announcing on October 28 that he was hospitalized in Germany for "in-depth medical examinations", the Presidency explained the next day that he was receiving "adequate treatment and [that] his state of health [was] stable and not worrying ", without ever specifying what was suffering Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who is a heavy smoker.

It was not until November 3 that a concise statement announced that he was infected with Covid-19. Five days later, the presidency indicated that the head of state was "in the process of completing his treatment". Then on November 15, another press release stated that he had completed his treatment and was undergoing "medical examinations".

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Since then, there has been silence, except for a dispatch from the official APS agency on November 20 reporting a letter from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, "in which she is delighted that he has recovered from his infection to coronavirus ". Asked by AFP, a German government spokesperson replied that "the German Chancellor [had] sent a written message of speedy recovery to President Tebboune", without further details.

Rumors and speculations of all kinds

This communication, to say the least fragmented and the absence of images of the president, continue to feed rumors and speculations of all kinds in Algeria, at a time when this country is undergoing a resurgence of the pandemic.

The uncertainty about the state of President Tebboune - who is supposed to promulgate the new Constitution after the referendum of November 1 and ratify the 2021 Finance Law - leads some voices to demand the application of Article 102 of the Basic Law, relating to to the vacancy of power, in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.

"Article 102 makes things much easier to the extent that the finding of vacancy of power is made in two stages: the state of temporary incapacity [of the president], for a maximum duration of forty-five days, then his resignation as of right beyond this period, ”explains political scientist Mohamed Hennad.

In this case, the Acting President of the Senate, Salah Goudjil, an 89-year-old veteran of the War of Independence, will act as interim president pending the election of a new head of state.

With AFP

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On vaccines, Macron promises to say "what we know and what we don't know" .
© Copyright 2020, L'Obs Operation: transparency! Emmanuel Macron assured during a visit to Necker hospital in Paris this Friday, December 4 that the government will say "very clearly what we know and what we do not know" about vaccines against Covid- 19.

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