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Is there no limit to the assault on the basic rights and humanity of Arab citizens? The latest insult to common human decency and the struggle of hundreds of millions of Arabs for democratic and accountable governance comes from Algeria, where President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced earlier this week that he would run for his fourth consecutive term as president. Not surprisingly, in central Algiers security forces arrested Thursday 40 people who were demonstrating in protest against Bouteflika's announcement. The spectacle of an ailing old man such as Bouteflika clinging to power after 15 years as president is a sickening reminder of the single most debilitating legacy of the modern Arab state system that is now so directly challenged by its own citizens who are tired of being treated like children with no rights.Bouteflika is likely to be re-elected, but not because a majority of Algerians want him to serve again.So Bouteflika will win despite the protests against his candidacy, and will serve another term, or as much of it as his frail health permits.
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