Algeria’s Islamic party refuses to meet dialogue panel

Abderrazak Makri
Abderrazak Makri, Movement of Society for Peace (MSP)’s general secretary, speaks during a press conference with the leader of the Algerian Front for Change (FC) party in Algiers on May 6, 2017

The Movement of Society for Peace, Algeria’s largest Islamic party, has refused to meet with a panel that oversees national dialogue to hold presidential election with a view to ending months of unrest in the North Africa country, Anadolu reports.

In a statement on Monday, the movement said it declined a request by the panel’s coordinator, Kareem Younis, to meet.

It, however, did not specify reasons for refusing to meet with the dialogue committee.

Last month, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah formed a six-member panel to oversee national dialogue and hold presidential elections at the earliest possible time.

Last week, Abderrazak Makri, leader of the movement, criticized meetings held by the dialogue committee with political parties.

“We want serious dialogue for achieving democratic transition, not dialogue imposed by force and blackmailing,” he said during a meeting with members of his movement.

Algeria has been in turmoil since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 after 20 years in power, under pressure from mass protests demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.