* Institutions in Algiers are stronger than men
* Scarred Algerians are wary of Arab Spring model
* But young Algerians feel left out from future
* Government needs to create jobs
* Islamist militants remain a threat
By Samia Nakhoul and Lamine Chikhi
ALGIERS, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Algerians are facing the eventual departure of their long-serving president, the ailing Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in the knowledge that all is being done to ensure little changes when he goes.
The 80-year-old leader, who has ruled the North African country for nearly two decades, was incapacitated by a stroke in 2013 but may decide to run again in the next presidential election due in May 2019.
Should he bow out, though, many Algerians believe the person elected to replace him will be secondary. Just as now, observers say, a powerful ruling caste dominated by the army will run the show from behind the scenes.
That may be good news for an aged and thinning party elite from the Front de Liberation National (FLN), allied business tycoons and generals – collectively known as “Le Pouvoir” or “The Powers That Be” – that has long managed Algeria’s politics.
It is a source of frustration, however, for young Algerians who have known no other leader. They worry less about who is in charge and more about jobs at a time of high unemployment, low oil prices and economic austerity.
For Samir Abdelaoui, who studies at a private English language school, leaving the country may offer the way out. “I don’t care about politics, all I need is a decent job, if not here, then overseas. I want a visa, not a president,” said Abdelaoui, who is learning English to increase his chances of getting a work visa abroad.
Speculation is rife abroad over what will happen to Algeria after the departure of Bouteflika, who has visited Europe several times for treatment and remained in hospital in France for months after his stroke. But inside Algeria, an apparent oasis of stability in a chaotic region, the…