Parliamentary elections in Algeria: Islamist Parties in pole position

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More than 30 political parties and around 100 independent lists with a total of more than 10,000 candidates will compete for the 462 seats in the National People’s Assembly. As the Algerian Parliament that comes out of next legislative elections in May 10 will have 73 additional seats, passing from today’s 389 to 462, what is new in the Algerian political landscape ,it is considered to be a harbinger to constituent assembly demanded by opposition parties. The Algerian government which explains the increasing in number of Parliament’s seats by the will to reinforce women’s presence in parliament is far of being credible among the civil society for its way of ruling the country. This may lead to the possibility of Islamist election victory as was the case in 1991.

Concern among some politicians and political experts over the capacity of Islamists to grab the majority of seats in the next assembly are currently mounting in Algeria that could seemingly be contaminated by the Tunisian and Egyptian syndrome. Following in  the footsteps of their fellow Islamists,  in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, three Algerian Islamist parties, the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP),  El Islah  and Ennahda, decided to officially form a new coalition called “Alliance of  green Algeria.”

The President of El-Islah Movement, Hamlaoui Akouchi, announced at the beginning of March of the current year the formation of an alliance between his party,  Ennahda Movement and the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) for competing in the upcoming elections with joint electoral lists which will be weighted in the revision of the Constitution.

Another influential Islamist figure, Abdallah Djaballah founder of Ennahda and current leader of the new party, the Front for Justice and Development (FJD) start already his pre-campaign. The FJD that supports all efforts for “a real democratic process” based on “real balance” and the separation of three powers (legislative, executive and judicial) in favour of the next constitutional amendment, championed by the Head of state is not the only one to sound the clarion of participation. Abou Djerra Soltani of MSP is already eying the crowds by promising better political stability. To convince the base he proceeded recently to the withdrawal from the presidential alliance consisting of the national liberation front (NLF) of Abdelaziz Belkhadem and the democratic national rally (DNR ) of the current prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia.The Algerian political landscape now consists of 33 parties registered by the Algerian authorities. The Ministry of Interior and Local Government, which recently allowed the establishment of eight new parties has given the green light to three newcomers in Algerian politics.Thus, El Fedjr El Jadid, headed by former Secretary General of NDR, Tahar Benbaïbèche, the UFDs (Union of Democratic and social Forces) required by Noureddine Bahbouh Front for Change and the former Minister of Industry, Abdelmadjid Menasra got their agreement from the Ministry. The Algerian head of state ,Abdelaziz Bouteflika is encouraging wider participation in these legislative elections that can be reflective of the Algerian popular sentiments.

Forbearance can give a fatal blow to the elections which will take place at crucial moment when the country is witnessing a political turmoil. Proponents of abstention are already appealing to the non participation to weaken the Algerian regime considered to be responsible for the upheaval. The rally for culture and democracy (RCD) calls for a boycott of legislative elections. This Democratic Party that has last week a new leader Mohcene Belabes to replace Said Sadi considers the vote as a waste of time.

Said Sadi’s opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) which has 19 deputies in parliament, has stated that these legislatives will change nothing for Algerians’ fate . Another prominent political personality, Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Algerian prime minister, pleads for the abstention. “If Algerians decide to vote, they will give credibility to a regime that has not allowed them to choose freely,”   he stated to media.

Sid Ahmed Ghozali who was prime minister between 1990 and 1992 argues that the Algerian regime never allows Algerians to choose freely their representatives. “The Algerian people gave the FIS a majority and its victory was absolutely legitimate and nobody can deny this, but the decision to halt the electoral process was also legitimate,” he said.

© 2012, Kaci Racelma. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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  1. Pingback: Islamist Parties in pole position in Algerian parliamentary elections | Newstime Africa - The Voting News » The Voting News

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