Talk to Al Jazeera - Ahmed Benbitour: Change is the only way

Al Jazeera English

by Al Jazeera English

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Under sitting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika - who has been in office for more than 13 years now - critics say Algeria has failed to learn its own lessons of history. So far, Algeria has avoided wholesale changes in the wake of the Arab Spring, and the leadership has a firm grip on power. But there is real tension under the surface. Bouteflika has tried to portray himself as a figure of reconciliation. But his critics point to powerful military rules that allow indefinite detention of political opponents, chronic high unemployment, and a decision to remove the two-term limit on the president, to make their case that Bouteflika has to go. Then there is Ahmed Benbitour, a man who wants to be president. He once served as prime minister but left after a disagreement with the Bouteflika leadership. Now, he believes, it is time for his country to recapture the values that once drove its fight for independence 50 years ago. But how will he do it? Talk to Al Jazeera sat down with Ahmed Benbitour to discuss the future of Algeria, and how he hopes to shape a new reality for the country.