March 13, 2019

IntelBrief: The Toxic Half-Life of Strongman Rule

Algerian lawyers gather outside the constitutional council in a protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Thursday March 7, 2019 in Algiers.  (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul).
  • Time favors strongman regimes, as leaders alternate between stalling tactics, physical violence and belated promises of reform to attenuate protesters’ momentum.
  • Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would not run for a fifth term, instead postponing elections originally scheduled for next month.
  • Widespread protests have also rocked Khartoum, where dozens have been killed demanding change in government from the 30-year rule of Sudanese strongman Omar al-Bashir.
  • The Arab Spring demonstrated the power of protests, but the rule of dictators and autocrats, often supported by Western governments, is stubbornly resistant to change.