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ALGERIA/ Fouad Allam: a country blocked by the trauma of the past civil war

May Mon 28, 2012

(Infophoto)  (Infophoto)

Political crisis for the Algerian parties that triumphed in the May 10 elections. Abdelaziz Belkhadem, the Secretary General of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and Ahmed Ouyahia, the Secretary General of the National Rally for Democracy (RND), have been accused by their own parties, who are asking for their resignations despite the crushing victory of their parties. In the current parliament, the FLN has 221 seats, and the RND has 70, compared with 47 for the Islamist Green Alliance. Ilsussidiario.net interviewed Khaled Fouad Allam, an Algerian intellectual who is a naturalized Italian, to ask him to comment on the current political phase of his country.

How did
the cracks in the parties that won the election come about?
An internal clash of political strategies is in progress to define the political strategies in the face of a country that is not changing. Belkhadem and Ouyahia have not been able to implement a review of Algerian policy, and this has ignited the fuse of the traditional struggle between factions within the political groupings. All of this in a very delicate context, with young people with a growing desire for change and political parties that are more or less paralyzed.

Why have young
Algerians not found political expression in the parties?
A little like in Italy and other countries, Algerians in their twenties no longer recognize themselves in the traditional parties. This also explains the defeat of the religious parties, contrary to what is happening in other Arab countries, under the pressure of historical change. The Algerian civil war of the 1990s completely decanted the illusion that radical Islam is capable of representing the solution to all the problems of the country. Today there is a total asymmetry in the global political culture between a world that is completely changing and the parties that, in the way they organize themselves and define their political communication, are still very much of the twentieth century. In this way, they are no longer in tune with the world of bloggers, the Internet and a completely changed language.

Why
has Algeria not been touched by the Arab Spring?



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