The Head of the Society for Peace Movement in Algeria has warned that state institutions in the North African country are gradually collapsing. The move by loyalist deputies to force the President of the National People’s Congress, Said Bouhadja, to resign is a realistic example of this collapse, explained Abderrazak Makri.
In a statement issued on Facebook yesterday, Makri also drew attention to state President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s health condition. “The president is absent and no one knows who and how decisions are taken. Photographs of him are being circulated with no respect for his position and privacy, which is a sign of the state’s weakness.” He suggested that this exposes Algeria to international ridicule but some people still want to maintain the status quo. “It’s as if Algeria is sterile and there is nobody to do the job except the current president; as if the people have no power and cannot take care of themselves unless the president appoints his successor.”
According to Makri, the Prime Minister has no control over his ministers. “They often override him and even decide and act on important issues without his knowledge,” he claimed. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organisation pointed out that Algeria no longer has effective civil society groups, which have been “broken” by the state. “Unfortunately, there is no dialogue or engagement between the people and the state that could guarantee their rights, apart from taking to the streets and burning tyres.”
Makri also took aim at those who undermine the sovereignty and status of Algeria and its culture. Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, he noted, opted to speak in French at the UN General Assembly meeting last week.
The ruling National Liberation Front, meanwhile, has called upon Bouhadja to resign in order to avoid a crisis within the parliament. The call followed Bouhadja’s decision to dismiss the Secretary-General of the Parliament, Bashir Slimani, who belongs to the ruling party.
It is not permitted for trust to be withdrawn from the President of the National People’s Congress by what would be in effect a vote of no confidence. The post-holder can only be replaced in case of inability to perform the required duties, death or resignation. Bouhadja has denied that he has resigned, or intends to do so, and insists that legal procedures must be followed before his successor can take office.