Is Macron planning a trap for Tebboune?

Algeria

Published on Tuesday 19 March 2024 Back to articles

France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

The plan for President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s state visit to France, which was postponed several times last year, is resurfacing. An 11 March joint press release said that it would take place on an unspecified date between the end of September and the beginning of October. 

However, some analysts see this visit, and especially the proposed date, as a French trap for Tebboune. Their thinking revolves around the dates for Algeria’s presidential election which, by law, must take place before 19 December. The convening of the electoral body must be completed at least three months earlier, so by 19 September at the latest. This means that, if Tebboune goes to France sometime after then, he will do so a candidate for his own re-election.

Rolling out the red carpet in Paris for an Algerian presidential candidate a few weeks before the election is unprecedented, and a very clear and direct way for Pariis to demonstrate its support for his second term. It would be real gift to Tebboune and one he could hardly turn down.

However, for some analysts, it is a trap being set by President Emmanuel Macron. It would make it almost impossible for Tebboune and the regime to object to France’s new rapprochement with Morocco (Algeria Politics & Security – 27.02.24) and Macron’s own planned visit to Rabat later this year. The latter will be more than a symbolic gesture by Paris towards recognising Morocco’s control of the Western Sahara. To avoid alienating Algiers, Macron will therefore provide Tebboune with the major electoral gift of a state visit. 

This excerpt is taken from our Algeria Politics & Security weekly intelligence report. Click here to receive a free sample copy. Contact info@menas.co.uk for subscription details.

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