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Muslim Brotherhood of Algeria: Bouteflika’s measures circumvent the will of the people

Head of the Movement of Society for Peace (Hamas) and former presidential candidate Abdul Razzaq Al-Makri - Archival photo

The Movement of Society for Peace (Hamas: the Muslim Brotherhood in Algeria) rejected recent the measures announced by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and suggested that the government is seeking to  pre-empt of the movement’s efforts to get the country out of its current political crisis.

The Hamas movement had presented a political initiative to postpone the elections and the implementation of political and legal reforms which would establish guarantees of free and democratic elections.

In a statement, Tuesday, the Movement of Society for Peace, said “the National Executive Office finds that the measures announced by the President of the Republic do not live up to the aspirations of the Algerian people, which took to the street in millions in different states demanding a real change.”

The statement added that “these measures are meant to circumvent the will of the Algerians, prevent them from the historic opportunity to move Algeria towards the embodiment of popular will and to get rid of unilateralism.”

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It further confirmed that “the postponement measures announced are not compatible with the initiative of the Movement of Society for Peace, presented to the presidency and the opposition with due transparency and clarity. Such actions constitute an emptying of the content of the Movement’s initiative and a sense of abuse of its credibility, which cannot be accepted in any way.”

The Movement made some “fundamental differences between the decisions of the Presidency of the Republic to postpone the elections and the initiative of the Movement of Society for Peace, which was handed written to the presidency and was seen by most parties and opposition figures.”

It explained that the presidency’s efforts “completely lack the principle of consensus called by the movement since last summer”

It added that “such procedures lack the legal and constitutional framework that the movement has sought since the first moment in its dialogues with the Presidency of the Republic, parties, and figures. In the event of achieving national consensus, as a new social contract, the movement called for an agreed upon partial constitutional amendment that could allow postponement.”

The Movement continued: “These procedures did not specify the mechanisms for agreeing on deep reforms and merely talked about a national seminar that may be the tool to dilute reforms after the popular movement has stopped.”

It added that “these procedures do not include the formation of a consensual government headed by a consensual person who oversees the implementation of the agreed-upon reforms.”

Algerians protest president’s bid for 5th term - Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Algerians protest president’s bid for 5th term – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The statement stressed that “these actions are not specified with a period from six months to a year, as mentioned in the initiative of the movement and demanded by many parties and figures. This turns the announced procedures into an extension of the fourth term, and not a postponement of the elections.”

The Movement stressed that “the only compass that determines its political orientation in light of the accelerating developments is the collective will of the people. The Movement’s leaders marched with the people as honourable citizens, who care only about national interest voiced in the streets, rather than the bureaus of politicians, or in the obscure laboratories of political authority that has lost the ability to impose its usual dominating will.”

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The statement called on “all parties to promote the language of dialogue’ and “praised the peaceful, civilised, and creative movement that the Algerians have made in the three Friday marches and their non-deviation towards violence in any way. Algeria is a great country that is open for its entire people. It can come up with a wonderful experience that we will appreciate and that will be a model to follow.”

The movement “announced that its initiative could have been a smooth solution to the crisis if it had been implemented in time before the popular movement. Nevertheless, the movement is still holding on to the spirit of the National Accord Initiative and the postponement of the elections to facilitate consensus by the above-mentioned principles, or in the framework of what the opposition has agreed upon in its latest meeting.”

The movement also called “the authority to listen to the voice of the people, and remain open to any other initiative that could achieve a smooth and secure political transition serving the public interest and not the interests of the ruling party or the greedy factions that seek to gain power at the expense of the great popular grace.”

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