Monday, 10 June 2013
FIS' Ali Benhadj criticises Bouteflika
In the wake of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's latest hospitalisation in France, the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front's (FIS) deputy leader, Ali Benhadj, has said that Algeria is in a worse state today than when the president took office. Speaking in May exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, he called on the president to leave power. He emphasised that Bouteflika “took power of an ailing country and will leave it in an even worse state”.
Criticising Bouteflika's claims of development and achievement, the Islamist leader said: “What some people consider achievements are in fact projects that go back to the initial years of Algeria's independence. However, their execution has been delayed for more than 35 years.” He added that “some of these achievements were made thanks to suspicious deals that plundered huge sums of public money. Benhadj stressed that “one cannot praise material achievements [made] under tyranny; when people's hopes are being suppressed and their legitimate rights are being denied”.
Benhadj also said: “We must differentiate between the health of the president and that of any ordinary citizen. The president's health will have an impact on society at large and state institutions, which are known to be corrupt. The ailing state becomes even sicker when the president is ill, especially as the president holds broad powers.”
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.
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