Algeria is organizing a historic parade for the 60th anniversary of

Algeria is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its independence with great fanfare this Tuesday, July 5th. After laying a wreath at the Martyrs’ Sanctuary in Algiers, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune inspected units from several security services before launching a military parade on an unprecedented scale.

as reported from Algiers, Faycal Mettaoui

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his guests, including the presidents of Tunisia, Niger and Congo, left the official platform erected next to the Grand Mosque on RN 11 at the eastern exit of the capital. The parade was attended by air, naval and land forces, the Republican Guard and formations representing military schools.

The parade began with an air show, with the participation of Su-30MKA, Su-24 fighter aircraft, Ilyushin transport aircraft and Russian-made Ilyushin transport aircraft, DC130, American aircraft. The Algerian army is largely equipped with Russian weapons, including the T-55 and T-90 tanks in the parade.

► Also listen: Calling the news – Algeria: 60 years of independence

In the middle of a heavy police presence, Algerians gathered en masse at the Promenade des Sablettes to follow the parade, some carrying flags. Some took pictures. From surrounding buildings, families could be seen gathered at balcony level to watch the parade, the first in 33 years. It lasted for two hours.

Some roads in Algiers have been closed for five days, causing a lot of inconvenience to motorists.

What political landscape 60 years later?

Algeria is a facade democracy, marked by strong repression, according to Madjid Benchir, former dean of the Faculty of Law in Algiers. The multi-party system replaced the one-party system in the late 1980s Although FLN today remains the party with the most seats in the National Assembly.

Dozens of parties are approved, but are struggling to exist. For Louisa Dris Aït Hamadouche, professor at the Faculty of Political Science in Algiers, these parties could not lead to a real political alternative. She notes that since 2019, their margin of expression has decreased further and that opposition voices are almost “inaudible”. The media and political parties are exposed to pressure, sometimes to prosecution.

Several scholars believe that President Abdelmadjid Tebboune could not constitute an opening after Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20 years in power, of which he was minister several times. Presidents come and go, says Madjid Benchir, but the system at the helm of Algeria is not changing.

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