Life Terms: from Algiers to Cairo and Damascus and on to Pakalingding……….


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Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appeared set to win re-election for another five years on Friday after a vote opponents dismissed as a stage-managed fraud to keep the ailing leader in power. Sitting a wheelchair, Bouteflika cast his vote on Thursday in a rare public appearance since suffering a stroke last year that has raised doubts about whether, after 15 years in power, he is fit enough to govern the North African oil state. Official results were scheduled to be released later on Friday by the interior ministry, but Bouteflika’s allies on Thursday were already claiming a landslide victory……………………”


So, it has been three plus years on since the Arab uprisings started in Tunisia in December of 2010 and spread eastward. Let us look at the situation now:

  • In Algeria, president Bouteflika (father of teflika, wtf that be) ‘wins’ a fourth or fifth term of presidency today. At this rate he will be in power when he becomes eligible for a place in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo or in a basement corner of the Louvre where the mummies are kept.
  • Abd Rabbuh Hadi bin Zombie of Yemen won 98% of the vote last time in an election that the GCC potentates declared was clean and free and democratic. He may be getting ready to run again, unless a U.S. drone mistakes him for an Al Aqaeda zombie. Meanwhile the allegedly deposed Ali Abdallah Saleh is not far from the center of power, very likely plotting something or another.
  • Egypt is getting ready to “elect”, by the usual landslide, Generalisimo Field Marshal Sisi bin Mubarak Al Saud. Interim non-leader Adly Mansour Al Zombie will vanish; he will go back into the vast caverns of Mr. Mubarak’s everlasting bureaucracy.
  • Bashar Al Assad will apparently ‘win’ another term later this year in Syria. Before you start guffawing think of this: given the sorry state of the opposition Jihadis and the divisive fear they have sown inside Syria he actually might win an election by a plurality (probably not by a majority). Quite a feat given the bloody mess his country is in.
  • Nouri Al Maliki of Iraq may win yet another term as prime minister, unfortunately. That depends on parliamentary election results and how the leaders of the various factions and the Kurds feel. Ayad Allawi will again be the favorite candidate of the Baathists and the neighboring Arab potentates. But as I have fawtad years ago: he will never become prime minister of Iraq.
  • A gaggle of Lebanese right-wing generals and warlords are fighting for the ceremonial presidency of that country. What is at stake? The figurehead president gets to name a couple of minor cabinet members and he gets a fat Saudi check to help him pick sides. 
  • On the Gulf. The would-be tribal liberators and bearers of democracy to Syria hold tight to absolute power at home, with a little help from their oligarch friends. From Riyadh to Abu Dhabi and Manama, they cling to every morsel of power. Even the unloved prime minister of Bahrain who has been in power for some 42 years. One of my suspect sources tells me he has vowed to leave office the old fashioned way: feet first and straight to Boot Hill
  • No need to go over the besotted Sudan, whose president of some 27 years in power is usually wanted by some international criminal court or another but is traveling across the Middle East quite freely. 
  • Then there are the other two bulwarks of the Arab League, Mauretania and Somalia. Frankly I have no idea WTF is going on over there. I assume each of these two countries has a president or a wazir or sublime port or someone like that who rules or pretends to. 
  • I forgot about the Comoros, but maybe next year, after I pay a visit to Moroni. 
  • On the bright side, there are rumors that Gambia may be the next country to join the Arab League and the Gulf GCC. They would need a Saudi invitation for both (even the French would need a Saudi invitation for that). Which has me wondering what is happening in Banjul or even in Pakalinding nowadays.