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Algeria: Hidden War between Two Ruling Parties over the Upcoming Presidential Elections

Algeria: Hidden War between Two Ruling Parties over the Upcoming Presidential Elections

Saturday, 6 January, 2018 - 08:30
Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia speaks during a meeting of the National Rally for Democracy in Algiers, May 5, 2012 (AP)

The president of Algeria’s largest opposition Islamic party said that the issue of the upcoming presidential elections (2019) “has not yet been resolved, and this is the cause of the political unrest experienced by the country.”

Abdul Razzak Mukri , president of the Movement for a Society of Peace, was referring to an attack led by the National Liberation Front - the majority party - against Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, on the grounds that he is “seeking the succession of President Bouteflika,” and that he looks to privatize government companies without Bouteflika’s knowledge.

“Conflict within the bloc of loyalists (the ruling parties), poses a great danger to the national economy, because it paves the way for doubt and suspicion of businessmen, who will not be encouraged to invest in Algeria, leaving the scene to a few who are party to the conflict and can never boost economic development,” Mukri said in remarks on Friday.

Djamel Ould Abbes, secretary-general of the Liberation Front, has been launching attacks on Ouyahia since two weeks on the grounds that he had brought together the central union and the most important businessmen organizations on Dec. 23 to tell them he wanted to privatize state-owned companies.

In this context, Ould Abbes met last Wednesday with the head of businessmen Ali Haddad and the leader of the union Abdul Majeed Sidi, with the aim of discussing privatization. The meeting was seen as a means to politically isolate Ouyahia.

It is noteworthy that Ouyahia heads the National Rally for Democracy, a party that has strong loyalty to President Bouteflika and is the second largest party after the Liberation Front. The two parties represent an overwhelming majority in both chambers of parliament, and in all municipal and state councils.

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