Geoff D. Porter to Algeriepatriotique : « It is not very probable that there are disorders in Algeria »
Geoff D. Porter ; « The potential of change after the era Bouteflika is enormous » AP.DR
Algeriepatriotique : As American expert, how do you analyze the situation which prevails in Algeria at the moment ?
Dr. Geoff D. Porter : Algeria is at its most important political turning point in two decades. If President Bouteflika runs for reelection, Algerians will have to choose between continuing Bouteflika’s leadership or for voting for the first new leader since 1999. If Bouteflika does not run, the choice will be even more difficult to determine which candidate is most suitable for the job of leading Algeria in to a new era. It is important to remember that Bouteflika has been president longer than any other Algerian leader, including Houari Boumediene. The potential for change in the post-Bouteflika era is enormous.
American democratic institute warned of disorders and chaos in Algeria if President Bouteflika was reelected for the fourth mandate. What is your opinion ?
If President Bouteflika is elected to a fourth term and the elections are transparent, free and fair, then there will not be disorder and chaos. Bouteflika remains widely popular in the country and he stands a good chance of winning the majority of the vote if he runs. Even if there are problems with the elections (fraud, vote tampering, etc), it is unlikely that there will be disorder and chaos. People who have complaints against the electoral process can turn to the Algerian justice system, which will review the complaints and carry out investigations if the justice system determines that there is a problem.
Do you think that the United States support the fourth term of the President Bouteflika ?
The US will support whatever choice the Algerian voters make. I do not believe that the US has a preference and the US respects Algeria’s sovereignty and will not interfere (even indirectly) in Algeria’s domestic politics. If President Bouteflika is reelected, then the US will support his leadership. If he does not run for reelection the US will support whoever becomes the next president. President Bouteflika has enjoyed a good relationship with the US. The US will also try to establish good relations with whoever succeeds President Bouteflika.
You made an analysis on Algeria in the Washington Post, and you know that the Algerian army and our intelligence services are the target of internal and foreign elements. Do you think that it is not to play with the security of the African continent, the Arab world, even all the planet? What is your opinion on the efficiency of the services of Algerian information ?
It is difficult to evaluate the efficiency of any information service because much of what they do is secret and not for the public to view – this is the nature of the work that they do. The same applies to Algeria’s information services. Popular understanding is that the services are very effective. Of course, there have been some changes in the services’ roles and this will impact the organization (learning new roles, adapting to new leadership, promotions of younger members of the services, etc), but in time, the services will remain effective and competent.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Published in Algeriepatriotique on 21/02/2014