Only 8 days before Election day and a new president will be born from its ashes like the 100 year-old phoenix. The event is treated by people like the ghost of a village clown that everybody knows and ignores. An election, in theory and practice, is the time when power holders pretend to dialogue with people. Power holders don't fancy doing that here, possibly never have since independence, but hey, the media have got to make a living so they're doing the dialogue all among themselves. People, as per usual, are completely ignored, and they give it back so well.
No matter, we can still have some fun and some British fun: bets! C'mon. Roll the dice.
9 April – How many public letters are in the mix?
Public letters from a variety of Algerian personalities abound these days in the press. Love mail. Hate mail. Especially content-poor mail. The spaghetti Western between Benouari and Hanoune continues in a face-off fashion. Ali Benouari’s latest challenge to Hanoune: you’ve got 10 days to write or… I’ll write back.
10 April – Who will Sellal insult next?
It would seem that only his own person is left on the list.
11 April - Where is Algeria’s Texas?
Tlemcen was hailed as the capital of Islamic Culture in 2011. In 2015, Constantinawill be celebrated as the capital of Arab culture. Algiers will soon become a new Mecca with the Grand Mosque and its world tallest minaret, with an opening scheduled in 2015. Now, Mascara has been promised the sore fate of becoming Algeria’s California. When all the barrels are counted… where is Algeria’s Texas?
12 April - In which building entrance will Nekkaz get stuck in Bab el Oued?
The non-presidential candidate Rachid Nekkaz continues his travels around various cities and regions of Algeria taking selfies. His planned visit to Bab El Oued’s Atlas Hall area last Saturday was a lot more confined that he’d planned for. The interior of Bab El Oued’s Atlas Hall was booked for Bouteflika’s campaign director Abdelmalek Sellal. The exterior of Bab El Oued’s Atlas Hall was also booked... by Sellal’s police protection. This only left Nekkaz with a small spot in a building’s entrance facing the Hall. Undeterred, he promises to be back on Saturday 12 April, this time round, facing the sea.
13 April - Will the President be standing in another television appearance and for how long?
He just might, during a public appearance scheduled for 13 April.
14 April - "Can you spot your leader"?
Almost two weeks since Brussels’ EU-African summit held on 2 and 3 April, and which counted Algeria as a member, at least on paper, to discuss the future of people's nations, or something. No one seems to care nationally. Internationally, BBC Africa seemed the most interested in engaging with people on this subject and asked "can you spot your DZ leader"? Well, can you?
15- Will Algeria's press publish photos of protests picturing other people than Barakat’s four members?
Protests and marches, small in number but large in spirit and media coverage, are likely to continue until 17 April but who gets photographed in these peaceful protests? Demos in Bejaia offer some fresh faces alledgedly committing crimes against public property. Photos of marches planned from 15 April might actually show people peacefully screaming their frustration.
16- After Barakat, and Barra, will a shorter protest movement’s name be born?
Barra (Out!) is a protest movement calling for demos in and from Paris. Will a four-letter movement follow?
17- Will bigger than XXL-size posters of the next President be printed and where will they be displayed?
XXL size posters of the current President have been hung on buildings around the country. How much bigger than these XXL size can the flanks of Algerian buildings take when the future President's turn come?
Will post-17 April be like pre-17 April? A clear definition of what pre-17 April was would first need to be put down, perhaps even agreed upon, and this has not yet been done. The question remains what will post-17 April be like? But mostly. Who cares…