Organic law for legislative elections creates controversy in Algeria

As soon as the President of the Algerian Republic, Abdel Majid Tebboune, signed an executive decree, through which he issued the organic law for the legislative elections to be held on June 12 next, until the political and media arenas were full of debate about it, especially Article 200 of it.

Article 200 of the Organic Law on Elections, which deals with candidacy requirements, stipulates that the candidate must not have exercised two consecutive or separate parliamentary terms.

Political isolation

The Algerian Popular Movement and many opposition parties have called for, for two years, to enact a political isolation law, according to which parties loyal to Bouteflika can be excluded from participating in any elections for a period of not less than 10 years to come.

These demands did not fall on deaf ears among the decision-makers at the time, especially since these parties are the most structured and organized in the country, and the authority may need them at any moment to save them from any potential political impasse, and indeed they needed to pass the presidencies and the constitution after boycotting the popular majority.

However, Article 200 of the election law restored some hope to the idea of ​​political isolation, as dozens of aging representatives in Parliament were excluded from running again for this legislative body.

Parliamentarian Lakhdar Bin Khalaf, one of the victims of Article 200, although he declared that he would not run for another parliamentary mandate before the law was passed, said, “This article represents political isolation with premeditation.”

Ben Khalaf added, in a statement to “Arabi Post”, that he was waiting for the authority to isolate the political parties that caused the destruction and ruin of Algeria.

The head of the Shura Council of the Justice and Development Party (an Islamic party) believes that “Article 200 is unconstitutional, given that the general constitutional rule stipulates that laws are applied with immediate effect and not retroactively, as it is necessary to do before them.”

On the other hand, National Assembly member Abdul Wahab bin Zaim appreciated the inclusion of Article 200 in the new organic law for elections.

Bin Zaim assured to “Arabi Post”, “Article 200 will allow the renewal of the political class at the legislative level, as well as inject new youth energies in Parliament.”

The spokesman called on the veteran parliamentarians who rejected the article to accept it with a sporting spirit and to leave their place for the young energies.

For his part, the leader of the National Liberation Front (Bouteflika’s party) denied that the article constituted a political isolation, stressing that it was one of the most important and fair articles in the law.

Other goals of Tebboune

The Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, may have killed two birds with one stone, by enacting the election law that includes the controversial Article 200.

The first bird is to fulfill one of the opposition’s demands related to political isolation, while the second, and perhaps the most important one, is related to emptying the National People’s Assembly of representatives with long experience in the field of discussing laws and legislation and most of them are familiar with the power tricks and traps, and compensating them with young people who lack political practice and the tools of legislation, which is what May relieve the government of Tebboune from the headache of accountability, for the next five years.

Former MP Lakhdar Bin Khalaf commented on this perception, saying that “the authority targeted, with the article, personalities who imposed themselves in Parliament for years, so that they deliberately excluded them from running for the next parliamentary mandate to ensure that their laws are passed comfortably and without disturbance.”

The same spokesman added, “The legislator had to leave the ruling to the people, and he is the one who decides who leaves or leaves parliament, and not to resort to such legal tricks.”

For his part, Abdel Wahab bin Zaim refused to underestimate the youth and their competence, stressing that “most of the new legislators who will reach the parliament after June 12 will be educated university youth, which will make matters difficult for the government and not the other way around, as some believe.” He put it.

Constitutionality of the article

Article 200 of the Organic Law for Elections has sparked widespread debate regarding its constitutionality and its retroactive application.

Constitutional jurist Abdul Salam Boujamelin says, “The article is legal and constitutional and there is nothing wrong with it, especially since the 2020 constitution stipulates that parliamentarians cannot serve more than two legislative terms in parliament.”

Boujemlin added in a statement to “Arabi Post”, “The problem that the deputies raise today is a matter of retroactive application of the law, and here we say that the legislator has the right to do so as long as there is an explicit article such as Article 200 of the Organic Law for Elections.”

The same spokesman affirmed that “the law before its enactment was presented to the Constitutional Council and approved, which proves its constitutionality, so that no one can argue that it is unconstitutional.”

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