At the same time that Algeria is living in the midst of a popular movement that has been going on for 5 months, demanding the departure of all the symbols of the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the country has witnessed a historic precedent in the arrival of an Islamic member of parliament to head the first chamber of parliament.
A majority of Algerian parliamentarians elected the MP of the Union for the Renaissance and Justice and Construction Party of Algeria, Suleiman Shanein, replacing Maaz Bouchareb of the National Liberation Front (FLN) party that ruled the country since independence from France in 1962.
The National Construction Movement, founded by cadres dissident from the Central Party of the Brotherhood of Algeria, said in a statement that the election of MP Suleiman Shanein to the presidency of parliament is a real revolution to establish a new Algeria, considering that this step is the beginning of a real breakthrough for the crisis.
Despite the withdrawal of all candidates, the opposition to his candidacy came from the members of the Central Party of the Brotherhood of Algeria where they expressed a negative position on the election of Shanein.
The statement added, “Shanein as President of the parliament is a matter of fact and his candidacy does not represent a case of democracy, because it is the result of a gift granted by a forged parliamentary majority and rejected by the Algerian people.”
It explained that its decision to boycott the election of the Speaker of the Parliament, is in line with the demands of the popular movement, and keeping its commitment to the agreement signed between the parliamentary blocs of opposition to boycott the work of the Council, in March.
In turn, the head of the parliamentary bloc of the Socialist Forces Front, Sadeq Soleimani, said in a press statement that consensus of the opposition on the MP is a historical incident and a failed attempt that gives some kind of credibility to the legislative institution, stressing that the bloc will not be a partner in the service of schemes.
The right direction
“The election of Suleiman Shanein to head the National People’s Assembly is a step in the right direction,” said political science professor Zuhair Bouamama. “This move was a dream before the last revolutionary movement,” he said.
“No matter what happened, just by presiding over an unaccountable figure of power for the National People’s Assembly, and the failure of the names to go through the old methods is another step in the right direction,” Bouamama said in a statement.
He pointed out that the political decision-making in the country is taking the demands of the people into account, as popular demands have become an additional indicator of how the masters of the moment think, and their perception of what is coming.