Algeria’s presidential elections of April 18, 2019

These presidential election will, in the face of internal challenges have to confront the numerous geo-strategic issues as elaborated on below in sixteen points.

Indeed, but before we go into that, and because the present electoral law allows any Algerian with any record to run as a candidate, how can we not see that there is an urgent need to revise the mode of pre-candidacy in the presidential election, by setting certain conditions, because of the blooming of fanciful candidates, some of which discredit this election? Do these candidates have, on the one hand, the social forces which carry them, on the other hand, realistic projects because the great challenge is the economic recovery of Algeria which determines both its political, security and social stability? 

Let us hope for productive debates and concrete actions based on the security of the country without which no development is possible, more morality to mobilize the population around profound reforms, essential issues in the face of geostrategic tensions and budgetary by 2019/2024, Algeria having all the potential to exit from the current crisis subject to a new governance and primacy of the economy of knowledge.  This contribution is aimed at all candidates for the forthcoming presidential elections as proposed through sixteen strategic issues.

The fundamental condition is security, social peace which implies the establishment of a minimum of income where the different sensitivities can dialogue in an organized framework based on tolerance and the right to difference, adapting to the Fourth world revolution based on artificial intelligence and digital, based on a permanent dialogue. 

The strategic objective during this transitional period is to implement a policy that is oriented towards a genuine democratic process, which is a strategic necessity for any sustainable development, the introduction of democracy, as shown in all other countries experiences being historically dated and having to consider cultural anthropology note.

These objectives must be based on a more participative plural society of political parties, the advancement of women as a sign of the vitality of any society, allowing full and complete accountability of the whole of civil society, reconciling modernity and the preservation of our authenticity; lethargy, activism and populism leading to regression because in this new world there is no status-quo, any nation that does not move, is bound to go inevitably backward.

The new economic policy will have to be registered, as I have shown in several international contributions of mine, within the framework of the European Space Maghreb and more globally the Mediterranean economic area of Africa as part of a strategic vision: there is a law in political science: 20% of well-targeted actions have an impact of 80%, but 80% of poorly targeted actions have only an impact of 20%.  

Improving the functioning of the markets and posing the problem of the future role of the State in the economic and social development which must necessarily be the dialectical relations of the respective and complementary state-market roles and far from the speeches, have a clear political will to go towards a social market economy, reconciling economic efficiency and social cohesion, avoiding the need for trade relations to destroy the bonds of solidarity.

Avoid the utopian economic policy of the past, particularly in industrial policy because of the new economic policy will have to be characterized by adapting to the universalisation of the market economy, considering the social specificities, where dominance is the consumer and the arbitrator, the financial markets. True patriotism should not be confused with narrow chauvinistic nationalism, a source of intolerance, will be measured by the Algerians’ ability to improve their standard of living through their contribution to local and global value added, in order to avoid the staggering drop in the foreign exchange reserves and go straight to the IMF by horizon 2022.

Support development by a renovated central and local government, and to fight against central and local bureaucracy by streamlining the budget choices of both companies (permanent revaluation, over costs), in particular the administration and the collective services whose management methods still date from the beginning of the years 1970 and establish a table of the value linked to international networks to combat overbilling.  So Progressively mutate the shared services, which are increasingly creating added value (education, health, telecommunication, transport, infrastructure) by introducing the market parameters to test their effectiveness, while Encouraging diversity to improve the benefits provided to consumers.

Subject to specific socio-economic objectives dated in time, a real decentralization around regional poles, to review the functioning of the provinces and the mutant “providence” local communities into true local communities managing the creation of wealth and citizens nurturing, e.g. bringing the state closer to the citizen.

Setting up a new governmental institutional organization by the creation of large ministries particularly those of the economy and education, with technical state secretaries in order to avoid any ‘telescoping’ and energize the Health, Public Works, Transport, Energy, Agriculture/Water, Tourism, all as aided by the adoption of new technologies where Algeria can have comparative advantages.

Revise the global industrial policies, outdated and imagine a new policy, not of the global industry, but the company made simple and not modelled on the old hierarchical, bureaucratic organizations but on the flexibility of the organizations as based on the decentralization of economic decisions, the predictive management of competencies.

Set up a new energy consumption model based on energy efficiency and on an energy mix of conventional/renewable, with the proviso that all oil/shale gas are subject to environmental protection and the involvement of local populations.

Reform the financial system with the banks at its core and the dynamism of the stock exchange in need of energizing coherently; public/private partnership, capital openings and privatization by avoiding the sale of national heritage.

Define a new employment policy as a function of the development of companies creating wealth, if one wants to avoid the implosion of pension funds, the functioning of which must be reviewed, to lift all bureaucracy linked environmental constraints, financial system, maladapted socio-educational system, land management, job creation not by decree but by referring to a new training or vocational policy adapted to new technologies, accommodating flexibility and security, to make an uncompromising assessment of all agencies responsible for employment and to group them into a single center if only for consistency’s sake.

To reduce social inequalities through a new policy of targeted subsidies within socio-professional and interregional and review the tax system through the combination of vertical fairness and a fight against corruption not to be confused with a management act so as not to penalize startups managers or any creative initiatives.

Never forget the diaspora that like other countries can contribute to the national development.

The set of previous objectives in the face of geostrategic and budgetary tensions during 2019/2024, implies to overcome the entropy of achieving a serene balance of all that has been achieved and what remains to be done to correct the mistakes of the past and this by a language of truth far from any gloom and self-satisfaction. 

A broad social front tolerant of differences; no one having the monopoly of nationalism, a major national conference would be to chart the prospects of Algeria.  To avoid the susceptibilities and wars of the leadership of some parties, at the expense of the general interest, this conference, desirable after the presidential election, should be like a small college of “independent” sages in a neutral institution, far from any partisan framework.

In summary, Algeria as a pivotal country within the region, with strong potentials but still subject to a new governance model and some correction of its socio-economic trajectory characterized to date by cyclical factors and deep-rooted structural weaknesses that so far contributed to weak economic performance.  It has possibilities nevertheless to move forward and eventually avoid its return to the IMF by 2022 and at the same time and because of its proximity to Europe, help in pulling the North African region towards more sustainable development, with all investments and migration control enhanced. 

Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul