Political and legal figures in Algeria affirmed that the upcoming presidential elections will not achieve the desired democratic transition.
Twenty figures, most of whom oppose the authority’s policies, issued Tuesday a statement including seven conditions they deem “necessary” before heading to the presidential elections, scheduled for December 12.
According to the widely circulated statement, the figures want the authority to respond to the popular movement’s demands, which call for the departure of former regime’s symbols, elimination of corruption in all its forms, and the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners of conscience, youth, university students, and the movement’s activists.
They have also been demanding the authority to respect the constitutionally guaranteed right of organizing peaceful demonstrations, stop limiting freedom of expression- especially in the public and private audiovisual field- lift restrictions on peaceful popular marches and siege on the capital, in addition to stopping illegal arrests of political activists.
They also invited all parties that believe in these demands to “the serious and responsible dialogue table.”
Among these figures are former Prime Minister Ahmed Benbitour, former Foreign Minister Ahmed Talib Brahimi, Minister of Information and former government spokesperson Abdelaziz Rahabi, former Minister of Education Ali Benmohamed, Dean of Human Rights Activists in Algeria senior Lawyer Ali Yahya Abdel Nour, 98, and one of the most prominent lawyers defending prisoners of conscience Abdelghani Badi, in addition to university professors who were known to be involved in the eight-month popular mobilization.
“The authority has resorted to force in its attempts to hold presidential elections and end its chronic crisis,” the statement read.
“Under the constitutional legitimacy pretext, it has misled in imposing its iron grip and affirming its eternal guardianship over the people by forming an in-active dialogue committee to pass its roadmap.”
The result, according to the statement, was forming an independent national election authority without prior agreement with political actors and community elites.
“The popular mobilization is not responsible for giving ready political solutions to carry out the transitional phase from a long-standing ruling era,” the figures wrote.
Instead, they said, its primary role lies in changing the balance of power to enable the society elites, including political parties, unions, associations, and figures, to present a comprehensive vision of a new system of governing.
This vision shall be based on respect for people’s sovereignty in choosing their representatives to run the affairs of the state and society, they stressed.