Algerian Government at a Standstill
With four months elapsed since Algeria’s legislative elections in May and no new government yet named, politicians from several parties are expressing [French] frustration and concern for what many call an unprecedented government absence, even for Ramadan. “There is a total crystallization of political life,” said Abderrezak Mokri of the MSP party, blaming those in power of showing no concern for the consequences that their inaction has for Algerians. Many suspect the “institutional lethargy” is a result of divisions within the ruling elite over whom to nominate to ministerial posts.
Meanwhile, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has not appeared [French] in public for over a month, with some speculating he may be abroad on vacation. Critics both in and out of parliament have derided his administration’s lack of response to increased urban violence as a result of soaring prices and more frequent power and clean water outages. Algerians in recent weeks have taken [French] to the streets in neighborhoods across Algiers in protest of power outages, where many have found blocking traffic as the only means to get authorities’ attention.
Internal party politics in Algeria, however, have remained [French] active with a new wave of ministers joining Amar Ghoul‘s new TAJ party. Several members of the conservative Algerian National Alliance (FNA) abandoned the party to join Ghoul, who himself recently left the Islamist MSP party along with Djemaa Mohamed. The TAJ party, according to Mohamed, will bring together three distinct trends, an Islamist component, FNA nationalists, and democrats. TAJ will attempt to field candidates for local elections this fall.