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No to the presidential election! No to systemic continuity ! For the election of a constituent assembly!

Statement by PST Algeria

Monday 4 March 2019, by PST - Socialist Workers Party of Algeria

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The gigantic popular mobilizations of these last ten days that have shaken the authoritarian power of Bouteflika, have not been enough to make him give up a 5th mandate.

His long-awaited response on Sunday 3 March turned out to be a joke in bad taste. Not only is Bouteflika seeking a new mandate, but he also decides to impose a new constitution and economic reforms, necessarily ultra liberal as demanded by the IMF and the World Bank. Obviously, it is a question of lifting a completely cracked and discredited "democratic" facade, of buying time to reorganize the regime totally decried by the ongoing revolt and to ensure a kind of "controlled transition".

In fact, through the pirouette of the national conference, which will neither be elected nor legitimate, it proposes a semblance of concession, not to the people who are calling for the fall of this authoritarian and anti-social system, but to the other faction, oligarchic and liberal, which has constantly claimed power-sharing and which seems to sponsor the former general candidate for the presidency, Ali Laghdiri.

The PST calls for the categorical rejection of this presidential election, which serves the continuity of the system. It is neither for Bouteflika and his faction, nor for the multi-billionaire oligarch bosses, who only demand their reintegration into political power, nor for the imperialist foreign powers and their multinationals, to decide on our constitution, our freedoms, our economic choices and our social project! It is up to the millions of workers, the unemployed, women, young people, students, poor farmers and all the poor, who have just given a lesson in struggle and courage, to decide their future! Yes, it is up to the people to decide sovereignly because they are the only source of legitimacy!

That is why it is imperative to maintain our mobilization, to initiate the establishment of the democratic self-organization of the masses in the popular districts, workplaces, universities, and wherever possible, which will engage in the debate on the modalities of election of the sovereign constituent assembly, representative of the aspirations of the majority of our people for freedom and social justice. At the same time, the use of a general strike to impose these changes to which we aspire remains a possible option that should not be excluded.

Our country is at a historic turning point. The PST reiterates its insistent call for the unity and convergence of all political and social forces and energies to widen the breach of this possible democratic opening, to stop liberal policies and the economic suicide and social disaster they generate and, moreover, to face all threats and pressures from imperialist powers in order to ensure the safeguarding of our sovereignty and national independence.

No to the 5th mandate, no to the continuity of the system and its illegitimate institutions!

No to the presidential election of 18 April, for the election of a Sovereign Constituent Assembly representative of our democratic and social aspirations!

For the maintenance of the mobilization and popular demonstrations!

In defense of our sovereignty and national independence!

National Secretariat of the PST.

Algiers, 3 March 2019


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