Friday, 29 July 2011

Algeria: Djaballah seeks to lead new Islamists

Abdellah Djaballah, the former head of the moderate Islamist parties El-Islah and Ennahda, has announced plans to create a new Islamist party. The new party, which does not yet have a name, was to be launched at Zeralda on 30th July. Djaballah will be joining forces with a disaffected former leader of El-Islah, Mohamed Boulahia, who is contesting the legitimacy of the current leadership of El-Islah through a court case. The party “is aimed at reuniting members of the [Islamist] movement”, he told the press.

He added that the party would be open to former members of the ex Front Islamique du Salut (FIS). Abdelrafour Sadi, another former member of El-Islah and founding member of the new party, has said that the documents for the foundation of the party will soon be delivered to the interior minister for approval. “The state needs to learn the lesson of what has happened in the Arab countries. Algeria has to represent the party of freedom in the Arab Maghreb,” said Sadi on 23rd July. Whether or not the party is approved will be an interesting test of the regime's willingness to tolerate the emergence of a new Islamist opposition, incorporating former members of the FIS.

Last month, it emerged that Islamists were lobbying the president for a pardon of former FIS members still in prison, and for the return of these former Islamists to the political fold.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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