Algerian opposition parties have rejected President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s re-election in last week’s presidential election.
Said Sadi, leader of the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), intends on taking legal action against the government.
The RCD leader said he would “take Algerian PM Ahmed Ouyahia to court for defamation” in a telephone interview with FRANCE 24 on Sunday. During the election campaign Ouyahia had publicly denounced “those calling for an election boycott” as “traitors to the nation”. The RCD is one of several political parties who decided not to stand for the April 9 election.
The opposition leader also accused Bouteflika of violating the country’s law by appropriating the struggle against the colonial French for himself, saying Bouteflika "used and abused the nation’s symbols of heritage”. Sadi accused the Algerian president of using liberation war heroes for his campaign posters even though Algerian electoral law prohibits it.
Like several other opposition parties, the RCD feels “Bouteflika's third mandate is none other than a coup d'Etat since he violated the constitution to give himself a third term and become president for life.” Algeria’s constitution was revised in November 2008, by a parliament dominated by Bouteflika partisans.
Said Sadi said he was not very optimistic about his chances of success in an Algerian court but insisted his legal action did have a more symbolic importance. “It's imperative that the Algerian people understand that we will not accept the election results or the constitutional coup. We will keep fighting. The Algerian people deserve much more than Thursday's fraudulent election.”
President Bouteflika was elected with more than 90% of the vote on April 9. The Algerian leader’s landslide victory has been rejected by the opposition, accusing him of large-scale fraud.