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Makri : Our Problem Is not With Bouteflika’s Fifth Term, But With Political System

Makri : Our Problem Is not With Bouteflika’s Fifth Term, But With Political System

Sunday, 24 February, 2019 - 09:30
Head of the Social Movement for Peace (MSP) in Algeria, Abderrazak Makri | Asharq Al-Awsat
Algiers- Boualam Ghimrasah
Algeria’s Abderrazak Makri, head of the Social Movement for Peace (MSP) and running for presidency in the African state’s upcoming April 18 elections, says that even though the upcoming vote will likely be manipulated his candidacy will seek to fight against ‘fait accompli’ being imposed on his country.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Makri reveals that opposition parties joining forces in backing and introducing a new candidate is at best “late and unrealistic,” noting that he is more than willing to withdraw from the race and back the new candidate if consensus is found.

As for Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika seeking a fifth term in power, Makri says it is an “insult to all Algerians and for the older generation.”

When asked about being the sole opposition candidate running against Bouteflika in 2019 elections, Makri said: “There are other potential candidates, such as Ali bin Flis, Abdul Qadir bin Qurena, Abdel Aziz Belaid, Rashid Nkaz, and Mahdi Ghani.”

It is widely believed that Bouteflika has already bagged the win before elections having started in the first place. Opposition nominees can’t hold a candle against the government monopoly over the election process.

“Despite the rigging, participation in elections remains a form of political resistance against yielding to the status quo. This miserable situation needs to change, either by the millions of citizens hitting ballot boxes and overwhelmingly voting against a fifth term for Bouteflika,” Makri said while also voicing the opposition’s support for public peaceful demonstrations against the realities being forced on them.

Some, however, view that the opposition’s partaking in elections is a form of compliance with and legitimizing the ‘democratic process’ electing Bouteflika for a fifth term in power.

On sweeping marches against Bouteflika’s candidacy, Makri reaffirmed that demonstrating peacefully is a right guaranteed by the Algerian constitution and international conventions.

“What is needed is to deprive the incumbent regime of using scapegoats to strike at this movement,” Makri added, explaining that the popular mobilization must continue to gain traction without a certain party claiming its leadership. Keeping the demonstrations authentic is vital to change to the incumbent system.

In the off chance that Makri is elected president, he vowed to implement and fulfill his campaign promises.

“I have presented a comprehensive program entitled “The Algerian Dream”. It includes three main axes: the political vision of resolving the crisis, democratization and good governance, and the economic vision and the various sectoral programs for all sectors.”

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