As expected by the most optimists political observers, Moroccan-born president Abdelazziz Bouteflika failed not in landsliding a 81.53 percent marge “win” and secure a fourth-five-year tenure, despite his ailing form. On the sidelines of his “devastating win”, almost 82% of course, many intellectuals and NGOs choose to call the spade a spade rapping the elections’ credibility and denouncing the corruption/propaganda techniques used by the regime. The Moroccan Monarch King Mohammed the 6th, as dictates the rules of the political game, sent what some may call a routine “congratulation” letter to Bouteflika. Yet, to my eyes, the letter was all but a routine one as it contained subliminal messages to the Algerian Generals, not to Bouteflika himself.
To start off, the letter was sealed from Dakhla, Morocco, a city the Algerian Generals reverie to see one day under the sovereignty of a fictive “country” of their creation: the “Western Sahara Republic”. The sealing location, especially taking into consideration the fact that King Mohammed’s last visit to Dakhla dates back to 2001, may be interpreted as the Moroccan monarch reaffirming strongly Morocco’s sovereignty on the region.
Furthermore, The king’s letter saying Bouteflika’s “re-election is a recognition by the Algerian people of the many accomplishments made” in different sectors and expressing his desire for Algeria “to carry on the good streak towards further development and progress,” despite the country suffering from an increasing mismanaged economy in decline, speaks louder than words. This may be seen as the Moroccan King “cheering on” the Algerian decision makers to carry on in their negative run. Yes Algerians are Moroccans’ brothers and nobody in both countries doubts the two people’s shared mutual love, but this is politics. A plummeting record in Human rights, economy, and freedom of press in Algeria will only discredit the Generals’ constant ingratiatory of the Polisario front, ergo give more credits to Morocco’s autonomy plan worldwide, especially if Morocco carries on improving its records.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that the letter barely mentioned a mundane wish for good health to the recipient, as normally exchanged by Kings and presidents all over the world on pretty much all occasions. The letter not taking into consideration Bouteflika’s frail health and not wishing him a prompt recovery can be interpreted as Morocco reiterating its understanding that Bouteflika is only a pawn in the Algerian Generals’ chess game. This said I believe the letter was intended to “Congratulate” those who truly hold the reins of power from backstage, the Generals.
You may say, I went too far-away in this “analysis” and I may agree with you. However, let’s not forget that History teaches us that Kings and leaders’ letters often contained subliminal messages.
True or not, from a humanitarian perspective, the one feels really sad for the Algerians’ sad toll. The fact is, as the French saying goes, ”Le Malheur des uns fait le bonheur des autres” (One man’s meat is another man’s poison), and today, no two will disagree that Boutefllika’s re-election is another 5 years chance for Morocco to effectively take off towards becoming the by-far-leading number one economic power in the MENA, a first-world nation.
Will Morocco take advantage of this? I really hope so, but only time will tell…