March 9, 2021

The Algerian opposition celebrates the national dialogue despite the boycott of several parties

The platform "Forces of Change", formed by a dozen parties, unions, associations and civil society, held today its first national conference in the capital to set a road map to exit the crisis despite the boycott of an important part of the opposition.

This initiative, coordinated by the diplomat and former minister Abdelaziz Rehabi, is mainly based on holding the presidential elections as soon as possible under the supervision of an independent commission.

The majority of the participants applauded the proposal of the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, for a dialogue led by independent personalities without the participation of the government or the army to discuss the elections.

Although the Algerian people have been demanding a "radical" change in the system and the recovery of popular sovereignty for four months, but the participants in this meeting have done nothing more than pick up the road map of the chief of the Interim state, Abdelkader Bensalah.

In his speech at this conference, former Minister Ali Benflis stressed the need to go in the "short timeframe" to the organization of presidential elections.

In his speech Benflis recalled that the last speech of the interim president Bensalah "proposes an incomplete base" however "with which you can work to implement a crisis exit plan" and thanked the Government for not participating in this dialogue.

"The power wanted to hold elections at any price now also wants to hold an election in its own way we see that we must go to presidential elections as soon as possible because Algeria can not stay with an interim president and there is also an acute economic and social crisis "Ahmad Adimi, spokesman for the Talaie al Huriet party of former Prime Minister Benflis, told Efe.

"But these elections must be held with conditions: especially under the tutelage of a body totally independent of the administration and which will have powers to organize the elections from its beginning until the announcement of the results with elected members," added the professor.

For this party as well as most of the participants shared the same vision of holding a dialogue with personalities that have no relationship with the current power.

"We must start the dialogue that we have been encouraging for it since 2014, it's a pity that the government rejected it before but as today the state and under the pressure of the hirak (protest) proposed the dialogue away from government people now we are waiting for who will be present in this dialogue to see who will participate, "added Adimi.

As for the president of the Islamist Social Movement for Peace (MSP) party, Abdarezak Makri considered that the political class and civil society should contribute to the materialization of this dialogue and indirectly advocated the departure of Bensalah and its replacement by a credible personality .

"The realization of the major reforms can not be done before the presidential elections are held as soon as possible," said Makri.

More concrete was his colleague from the Islamist AL Adala party, Abdellah Djabalah, who called the current interim president "illegitimate" and asked for his immediate departure.

"The interim president is illegitimate, the people have asked for his departure and we must listen to him," said the head of the Islamist party.

Yilali Sofian party leader Yil Yadid said that "it is not possible to dialogue while young people and the mujahideen are in prison for having participated in a demonstration, carrying the Amazig flag or even criticizing the country's leaders (…) Yes This power is sincere in its desire to help the change demanded by the people, as it proclaims, all prisoners of opinion must be released. "

The historian Mohand Arrezki Frrad who participated in this meeting also urged the release of the prisoners including the fighter Lajdar Buregaa the founder of the former opposition FFS party.

Despite the massive attendance, the meeting was boycotted by seven opposition parties: the Socialist Forces Front (FFS), the Regroup for Culture and Democracy (RCD), the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS), the Union for Change and Progress (UPC), the Party for Laity and Democracy (PLD), the Workers Party (PT) and the Socialist Workers Party (PST).

In addition to the parties, other prominent national figures declined the offer to attend this "forum" as did the lawyer and human rights defender Mustafa Buchachi.

This meeting came a day after tens of thousands of Algerians staged yesterday a new national march under the slogan "the tsunami" on its 20th consecutive Friday, which coincided with the 57th anniversary of the country's independence despite a large police device .

Massive protests, which take place every Tuesday and Friday for four months, have plunged Algeria into uncertainty, with an interim government and head of state, an army chief and an uncertain political future after the elections were suspended presidential elections scheduled for July 4.

The elections had been called by the president of the Senate, Abdelkader Bensalah, according to the precepts of the Constitution, which, however, did not contemplate an alternative in case these were not celebrated.

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