Algerian presidential advisor denies president's brother planned coup

Algerian presidential advisor denies president's brother planned coup
Algerian Presidential office director has defended President Bouteflika's brother against allegations he is planning to stage a coup and said the opposition is inciting the street against the president's family.
3 min read
07 July, 2015
Leaks say President Bouteflika's brother Said had planned a coup against him [FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images]

Presidential office director in Algeria, Ahmed Ouyahia , Tuesday leaks concerning alleged plans by Said Bouteflika, brother of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to stage a coup against his brother and seize power.

Ouyahia said in an interview published in Echorouk, a daily Algerian newspaper, that "this talk is baseless and leaked by a member of parliament who received information on consultations made by President Bouteflika seeking the views of politicians around constitutional amendments."

Ouyahia, who is viewed to be the most likely political figure to succeed Bouteflika as president, said: "The president's brother, Said Bouteflika, is annoyed by baseless talk and rumours, which have reached the point where someone has launched crazy allegations that the president's brother is planning a coup. Is this democracy? Is this political life?"

Ouyahia described the leaks as "chaotic and excessive behaviour" and added: "We should know that 24 years ago [political] excessiveness and populism had cost us dearly, and I think everyone remembers this."

They work day and night to manage smear campaigns against the president's family

Algeria's Presidential Office Director Ahmed Ouyahia

Ouyahia criticised the spreading of rumours about President Bouteflika and his family, particularly his brother, saying: "They work day and night to manage smear campaigns against the president's family to discredit and defame them, and this is not the right of the opposition." At the same time, Ouyahia pointed out that "President Bouteflika's health is no longer the same as it was in 2004 but he is leading the country in a normal way."

Ouyahia said that Algeria is going through a difficult economic situation, the result of losing half of its income in foreign currency, but that it will not resort to reviewing the prices of primary products for Algerians like bread and fuel.

Ouyahia responded to opposition allegations about chaotic spending in development programs and said that the sums had been adopted in development plans since 1999, after Bouteflika came to power.

Algeria's economy still depends heavily on the country's oil revenues.

Ouyahia criticised the behaviour of opposition parties and said that they are working on inciting the public, and he asked: "Is this the way to reach power? Algeria should not be burnt down for the sake of reaching power."

On a different subject, Ouyahia accused the Western countries of creating the Arab Spring to break up Arab countries. He also accused them of creating and funding the terrorist organisation Islamic State group.

He said: "Libya is suffering and has become a terrorist hub, and Tunisia has become one of the victims of terrorism and is living what we lived in the 1990s."

Ouyahia added: "Algeria is not safe and attempts to target us continue."