Algerian party denies street protest claims

May 14, 2012

Algeria’s Front for Justice and Development has distanced itself from claims that its leader has made a call for a Tunisia-style revolt over vote results.

“The statements by Shaikh Abdallah Djaballah have been misinterpreted,” Lakhdhar Bin Khalaf, a senior member of the Islamist party, said.

“He simply said that the authorities in Algeria have, because of the manipulation of the vote results, missed a chance to make changes through the ballot box and is therefore pushing towards a change through the street as was the case in some Arab countries, such as Tunisia,” he said in remarks published by local Arabic daily Echorouk on Monday.

‘Tunisian option all that’s left’

Djaballah reportedly said following the announcement that his party won only seven of the 462 seats up for grabs in the legislative elections, that “these results closed the door on change by the ballot box and the Tunisian option is all that’s left for those who believe in change.”

Tunisia, Algeria’s smaller neighbour to the east, ousted its former president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali in a popular uprising that culminated on January 14, 2011.

However, Bin Khalaf said that Algerians did not have to resort to the Tunisian option.
“Algerians do not need the Tunisian way to make changes. Every country has its own particularities. Besides, the Front for Justice and Development does not support violence and our struggle is peaceful,” he told the daily.

Algeria’s seven Islamist parties had expected to ride on the wave of landslide gains by Islamists in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. However, they were stunned by their dismal show in Thursday’s legislative polls, largely dominated by President

Abdul Aziz Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, the clear winner with 220 seats.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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