ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — A moderate Islamist party pulled out of Algeria’s governing coalition on Sunday, saying that 2012 is the year of competition — not alliances.
The announcement by the Movement for a Peaceful Society, or MSP, to leave the so-called presidential alliance comes ahead of April legislative elections.
The MSP’s decision to enter the opposition should allow it to try to capitalize on the wave of Islamist victories in other Arab countries, although it is unclear how well the party can prosper after years inside the power structure.
The party had already reached out to Algeria’s Islamist ranks ahead of the elections, and differences with its partners, the powerful National Liberation Front and the National Democratic Rally, were well known.
The decision to leave the governing coalition, which it joined in 2004, was announced at the end of a gathering of the party’s Consultative Council focused on the upcoming elections and the party’s role in the alliance behind President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
MSP leader Abou Djara Soltani put the accent on disagreement over how to implement an array of reforms announced April 15 by Bouteflika to placate the restless Algerian population as uprisings now known as the Arab Spring have toppled leaders of other Arab nations.
He accused coalition partners of “emptying the political reforms of their substance in the name of partisan interests” rather than ensuring reforms worked in the interest of the people.
The year 2012, Soltani said, will be “the year of political competition … and not that of the alliance,” synonymous with “political mediocrity which serves neither the country nor its citizens.”
Alliance partners, the powerful FLN and RCD, have rejected the MSP’s criticism that the planned reforms are tactical.
The MSP has four ministers in minor posts.
The MSP founder, Mahfoud Nahnah, who died in 2003, changed the party’s name from Hamas — not linked to the Palestinian movement — in 1999 to conform with a law banning references to Islam in party names.
That law grew out of Algeria’s effort to block the return of Islamic fundamentalism to the political scene after a now-banned Islamic party nearly won the nation’s first multiparty elections in 1991 — aborted by the army to stop a likely victory. The move triggered an insurgency that left an estimated 200,000 Algerians dead.
More Related Stories
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11