Election fever is spreading in Algeria ahead of the official start of the campaign season on Sunday April 15th. Authorities have appealed to voters to participate in the May 10th elections and have invited international observers to witness the vote, giving assurances that the poll will be free and transparent. The ruling coalition that once held a majority in parliament and government no longer exists. The Movement for a Society of Peace (MSP) was the first to leave, even though it retains its ministerial posts in the government and its seats in parliament. MSP leader Bouguerra Soltani has formed a “Green Alliance” with two other Islamist parties, Ennahda and El Islah, with the goal of becoming head of the ruling coalition.
Abdallah Djaballah, the founder of Ennahda and later El Islah as well as current president of the Front for Justice and Development (FJD), expressed equal confidence that he would be the next prime minister. However, the party is suffering from turbulence and resignations due to a lack of agreement over its lists of candidates.
Meanwhile, things look very bleak for the biggest party in parliament. The National Liberation Front (FLN) is experiencing an unprecedented crisis. More than half of the members of the FLN central committee are calling for an extraordinary session to demand the immediate dismissal of the party’s general secretary, Abdelaziz Belkhadem. The crisis is due to the exclusion of officials and ministers from the party’s election lists and, in particular, the candidacy of people who have never been active in the party, such as the former wife of Cheikh Youcef Qaradhaoui in Algiers and billionaires who were recently appointed to the party’s executive bodies.
Full Article: Algeria begins election campaign (Magharebia.com).