Monday, 10 December 2012

Algeria: Response of opposition parties

The opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) party issued a statement saying: “All of the observers noted the government's determination to promote criminality and incompetence through its lists, increasing the risks of national destabilisation.”

The leader of the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), Abassi Madani, called from his base in Qatar for a “massive boycott” of the vote, “to expose the Algerian regime and its oppressive practices”. While many former FIS voters boycotted the elections as an irrelevant and illegitimate exercise, most local Algerian analysts have seen the results as showing further evidence (following the 10 May elections) of the collapse of the Islamist parties.

MSP leader Bouguerra Soltani was disappointed and questioned the results saying: “The climate surrounding the elections and the various irregularities which occurred at every stage … damaged the sincerity and credibility of the results and destroyed their legitimacy.”

Local commentators put the continuing slump suffered by the Islamists down to the fact that the authorities allowed many new parties to be created as part of political reforms with the result that the Islamist vote fragmented. Mouloudi Mohamed, an analyst on Islamic issues, said, “The increased number of parties with an Islamist orientation has weakened their share on the political scene.”

There are also indications that a lot of Islamists have joined the newly-created moderate Islamist TAJ party led by Amar Ghoul, former senior member of the Green Algeria Alliance. As Ghoul is serving as the Minister of Public Works, he did not take part in the elections.

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

© 2012 Menas Associates

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