Algeria: Ruling FLN lawmakers boycott pro-Bouteflika demonstrations on March 2
Several lawmakers and local elected representatives of the ruling Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) have said they will not join the March 2 counter-demonstration aiming to show support for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s candidacy for April 18 elections, Huffpost Algerie reports.
The North African country has been rocked for weeks by demonstrations rejecting plans by incumbent President to seek another office term for the next five years.
The 82-year old and ailing President will reportedly submit his application for the April elections on March 3.
Thousands of Algerians across the country and abroad have staged demonstrations against the presidential plans and are expected descend in the streets again on March 1st.
Given the growing national discontent against the fifth term, the ruling FLN has planned a counter-demonstration nationwide on March 2 to endorse Bouteflika’s candidacy.
A lawmaker from the FLN told Huffpost Algerie on condition of anonymity that several members of the party have refused to subscribe to the planned counter-demonstration and to Bouteflika’s fifth candidacy.
“Today none at FNL wants to organize a demonstration,” said the senate member.
An attempt by the party’s secretary, the controversial Mouad Bouchareb, to organize a campaign explaining Bouteflika’s drive for the election, on Saturday failed over resistance by some local representatives, the media reports.
Additionally, a local senior member of the party has indicated that they have made it clear to the central committee of the FNL that they will no longer heed any call seeking to involve them in campaigns to defend the President’s electoral ambition.
“We were clear with the central committee. We told them we refuse to embark on their projects,” the senior member said.
“Friday demonstrations have freed the freedom of speech within the party. The members are no long scared to say it is enough,” said a senator under condition of anonymity.