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Algeria

The people do not recognize the election organized by the system, it’s time for self-organization

Friday 20 December 2019, by Kamel Aïssat

On 12 December 2019 the government in power, the de facto government, embodied by the general staff, organized an election. It mobilized all the forces at its disposal in terms of security forces and allegiance networks to force a passage. But all over Algeria, the people took to the streets to say no to the elections held by the former regime.

On Thursday 12 December, the people demonstrated that they resisted all the intimidation campaigns, the official propaganda on all the television channels and newspapers which, for two weeks, had campaigned against a so-called European Union foreign intervention, using the scarecrow of the Kabylie autonomy movement, and using other scarecrows to frighten the people and encourage them to vote.

The people voted on the street

There were thousands of us in Constantine, one of the largest marches ever seen in this region. There were hundreds of thousands in Algiers, during the day and until late at night. And everywhere in Algeria. In Kabylia, especially in Bejaïa which experienced a general strike, voting did not take place. No polling centre was opened, except one near a barracks where they were forced to break a wall of the barracks to allow the soldiers to go to vote discreetly.

Yesterday’s election was therefore a big step, but it was predictable. Today, the fight continues, posing more than ever the need for our organization. Because yesterday we observed that in all the regions, all the municipalities, all the places where there were self-organized collectives, popular committees, there was no voting. On the contrary, there was zero voting, without any violence.

Organization is therefore more than ever on the agenda

At the same time that we demand “system out”, we must build the alternative to this system. It is unimaginable for everyone to bring down a system without having prepared the alternative system, that is to say a popular power based on self-organization, whether it be factory committees, combative unions and especially popular committees in all regions of Algeria. It is through the dynamic of construction of self-organization that the existing system will be replaced.

They’re going to nominate one candidate from among them, from the five candidates, all of whom originate from the same regime, who were prime ministers, ministers, chiefs of staff, or whatever. At first glance, it will be Madjid Teboune, whose name is intimately linked to the 70 tonnes of cocaine affair.

So, this 43rd Friday, the people will be mobilized to shout “Teboune cocaine” and “peaceful, peaceful continuous revolution”. This is what will emerge today. This facelift they want to make by replacing Bensalah has no chance of succeeding. But if it is not to succeed, we will have to affirm our alternative, which is a constituent process, a sovereign constituent assembly based on popular control, on self-organization, on the social needs of the majority of the people. It is this political alternative that we must confront faced with what they are going to offer us, which will only be another facade of continuity of the neoliberal system.

This is what we are going to do: continue the fight, organize ourselves better to face the system and go through with the radical change that is wanted by the majority of the people, the majority of the youth who are the spearhead of this movement.

12 December 2019

Translated by International Viewpoint from Parti Socialiste des Travailleurs.

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