Algerian Opposition Leader Renews Call to Fight Fraud

Article Summary
The leader of the Islamist group the Front for Justice and Development in Algeria called the country’s recent elections a sham. He released a statement calling for a continued quest to expose fraud, writes Atman Lehiani, and reiterated that “other means” would be necessary if the ballot box is unable to affect the change desired by Algerians.

Abdallah Djaballah, the leader of the Front for Justice and Development, said that all options remain on the table for the 16 parties that make up the Political Front to Protect Democracy. The latter declared its rejection of the parliamentary election results, accusing the regime of falsifying them as well as the people’s choice.

In a news conference held yesterday after the Shura Council meeting, Djaballah pointed out that the popular option remained open. He affirmed that “if the doors remain closed, and change proves to be impossible to achieve through the ballot box, the level of despair felt by the people as a result of social, economic and political failures, in addition to electoral fraud, will push them to affect change through other means.”

He noted that the people did not take to the streets to protest the election results, for fear that doing so would lead to chaos, destruction and deadly confrontations with security forces. However, he asserted that this should not be viewed as proof of their acceptance of the results.

In a reply to statements made by the interior minister during his latest visit to Oran, in which he described the Political Front to Protect Democracy’s initiative as “a joke,” Djaballah said that “the interior minister is responsible for his own words. Such statements will not discourage the parties of the Front from their quest to continue to expose fraud, all the while rejecting the latest election results.”

He also noted, “Other officials preceded the interior minister in supervising past elections and claimed that they were honest elections, only to later admit, once they left office, that they were in fact fraudulent. The day will come when the minister will do the same.”

He added, “the regime aims to sabotage the coordination initiative on the part of the 16 parties.” Djaballah, whose party won eight parliamentary seats, criticized the European Union, saying that its observers were influenced by a gas deal between Europe and Algeria.

The final statement issued by the Shura Council of the Front for Justice and Development emphasized the rejection of the electoral results and the continued coordination efforts between all political factions, while condemning the fact that official institutions were made to take part in widespread fraud. The statement called the fraud “a prelude to the ratification of a new constitution aimed at giving the presidency monopolistic powers, opening the door to hereditary rule for those in control.”

Djaballah also touched on attempts that were made to lure his party into taking part in the government. He claimed that the regime contacted him through intermediaries to suggest that he participate in government and be given two ministerial positions — which he refused. He added that the regime also attempted to lure two of his party’s leaders to participate in the government, but they refused as well.

Found in: presidential monopoly, algerian opposition, islamists, front for justice and development, fraud, algerian elections

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