Anwar Haddam: Algeria, the Arab Spring, & the Waving of Islamism’s “Red Flag”: Prospects for a genuine change in Algeria
I: Political Reforms in Algeria: Tightening of Algeria’s Society & Politics
II: The Change in Algeria Genuine Political Islam’s Activists Advocate
III: The Civilian-Military Relations: An Obstacle Facing Democratic Change in Algeria
IV: The Need for a Democratic Reform of Intelligence Agencies in Algeria
Appendix: “Algeria Spring” or the 1989-1991 Era of Political Openness
A Missed Opportunity for Peaceful Democratic Change
I would first like to thank CSID for putting together this conference on: “The Arab Spring: Getting it Right”, and for providing me with the opportunity to participate in such timely debate. I will approach the question from Algerians’ perspective and their attempt at achieving a democratic change of the military-dominated political system. My presentation is about: The Arab Spring, & the Waving of Islamism’s “Red Flag”, with focus on the prospects for a genuine political change in Algeria and the subsequent opportunities that might open to North Africa.
As rightly expressed by Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, describing the cascade of democratic uprisings across the Middle East, the 2011 Arab Spring is “one of the most momentous developments of our time.”
Unfortunately, in the midst of this popular uprising in the Arab World, a red flag of Islamism is being waved as a danger signal. The Intelligence Agencies in Algeria have already taken advantage of this unwarranted warning, to engage cosmetic political reforms only, in a move to maintain their grip on the state institutions and decisionmaking process.
The same red flag that was waved two decades ago on the aftermath of popular uprising on October 1988 in Algeria where, in an attempt to achieve a peaceful change of the political system, the people voted out the thirty years military-backed ruling party and voted in a new political party, namely the Islamic Front for Salvation or FIS, providing it with a landslide victory in both local and parliamentary elections. 
This performance of the Algerian people, successfully holding for the first time since its independence in 1962, a fair, transparent, multiparty, peaceful elections any Arab country ever had, contradicted all predictions of the Algerian “Deciders” and their foreign allies, particularly the French government, to the point that they took the responsibility to end the democratic process few weeks later, in January 11, 1992, engaging the country in a bloody civil war Algerians are yet to heal its wounds.
In order to avoid such a “déjà vu” and costly attitude toward ongoing efforts to achieve democratic transition in the region, this paper will shed some light, in section II, on the change in Algeria genuine Political Islam’s activists advocate. Assessing that they do not constitute an obstacle for a democratic change, the Intelligence agencies do.
Algeria’s genuine Political Islam is basically calling for an effective, comprehensive, peaceful, consensual, and gradual change of the political system towards a better one that will be representative of Algerian society in its diversity, asserting universal principles of democratic governance, and for the well being and prosperity of the people without any exclusion or discrimination.
In section I, the paper will go over political reforms as proposed by Algeria’s President a year ago, on April 14th, 2011, in a move, or so claimed, to deepen a democratic process. These political reforms were quickly welcomed by some western democracies. However, as rightly noticed by many Algerian political and Human Rights activists, the subsequent implementing set of new laws put in fact additional tightening on the Algeria’s society and its political field.
Algeria’s early 1990’s democratic openness was seen as an upset of the country’s civil-military relations; Intelligence services have been since the war for independence (1954-1962) dominating the country’s decisionmaking process. The paper, will address in section III Algeria’s civilian-military relations which opacity constitute the main obstacle facing a democratic transition in Algeria. While in section IV, the paper will address the need for a democratic reform of Intelligence Agencies in the country.
In the last section, the paper will examine the prospects of a change of Algeria’s political system that may open for the country and the region.
I: Political Reforms in Algeria: More Tightening of Algeria’s Society & Politics
In January of 2011, Algeria witnessed various attempts of the youth gathering in the streets, especially in major cities such as the capital Algiers, in Oran in the West, and in Annaba in the East, expressing their dismay at the 50 year old political system and calling for liberty, dignity and social justice. Algeria was about to revive its own “Arab Spring”, more than two decades after the one it had in the early 1990s.
However as soon as these peaceful demonstrations increased in numbers by February 2011, the government reacted in a disproportionate manner. In a clear violation of the Algerian constitution and international treaties, tens of thousands of police forces were deployed in Algiers to prevent protesters access to the assembly points for example, and arresting hundreds of them.
One of the main demands of the protesters was the lifting of emergency rule in place since the coup of January 1992. It was lifted in February 2011. However this measure does not translate into a better guarantee of the rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association, and demonstration. The harassment by police on members of political opponents, labor, or youth organizations, and the unjustified ban on anti-government demonstrations and public meetings, have been since and still are among the commonly used tactics to weaken these peaceful demonstrations.
In a public speech addressed to the Nation, on April 14th 2011, Algeria’s President announced the willingness to implement “political reforms to deepen the democratic process”. These measures, combined with the lifting of emergency rule, were presented as the regime’s response to the protests that had intensified in the country at the beginning of the year 2011.
In a regional political context undergoing profound changes, following the overthrow of former dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, the announcement of reforms in Algeria seemed intended to appease concerns of Algeria’s partners more than that of Algerians. Actually, the announcement was immediately welcomed by foreign diplomats.
Yet the gap between officially announced political reforms and its implementing laws and practices are obvious!
Peaceful demonstrations for a political change are still being brutally crushed by the regime on a regular basis with the incomprehensible silence of the international community and media! For example, on last April 14th, the day before the opening of the electoral campaign, a peaceful rally of Independent Youth for a genuine Change, calling to boycott the upcoming legislative elections of May 10, was violently repressed by the police.
Many believe that the laws passed in January 2012, instead of responding to the logic of openness and democratization announced by the President of the Republic, constituted in fact a regression of liberties, in total violation of international commitments made by Algeria, including the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights.
The necessity to carry out reforms became for the military-dominated government an opportunity to tighten further civil society and the political field, a way to strengthen its grips over the Algerian society.
A close analysis of the new laws in question shows clearly that:
a) The President, and behind him the military/security apparatus, retain a decisive power over the judicial system; although the separation of powers is enshrined in the Algerian Constitution! He still appoints the President of the Constitutional Council without recourse to parliament, chairs the Higher Judicial Council, appoints judges without resort to parliament, and can use disciplinary sanctions against them.
b) The new laws sanction impunity, particularly concerning the massacres and horrific crimes committed against the people. To a population that has lost over 250,000 dead to terror, the fight against impunity should represent the basis for genuine political reform. The regulations implementing the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation of 2005, in total absence of a process for the restoration of Truth and Justice, have been interpreted in a way to sanction impunity and advocate oblivion. These implementing provisions of the charter are still in force and even become a reference for new laws. They still give officers of the armed forces and security services judicial immunity, when thousands of duly elected representatives, from the 1990s aborted local and parliamentary elections, are still deprived from their civil and political rights!
c) The new laws provide increased powers for the executive branch of government. In general, the legislation concerning the electoral system, political parties, civil society’s associations, and media, entrusted to the Ministry of the Interior broad powers in the establishment of associations and political parties, and on its bylaws and governance.
Thus, the result of these political reforms engaged by Algeria’s government is in fact damaging; it is a receipt for more instability and insecurity of the country and the region. The few appearing advances are actually disillusioned by significant limitations; even tougher measures were put in place. Also, the abusive practices already implemented by the government are now codified in law.
These cosmetic reforms and the unfair exclusion of a large part of society from the political process not only have a direct impact on the transparency of the upcoming parliamentary elections but also on Algerian society as a whole and its future.
A “National Platform for Genuine Democratic Transition in Algeria” is being thought by the Algerian opposition in its diversity, which is to be made public on May 5th, 2012; this author is one of its signatories on behalf of the MLJS.
In this platform, recognizing our diversity as Algerians, we the signatories are clarifying our civic values, stating clearly that we are committed to:
– Respect popular sovereignty: the people are the only source of political power and legitimacy; – Provide to all the respect and sanctity of their lives, their dignity and their property, according to our Civilizational values and universal values of human rights; – Respect our identity in its three dimensions, (Islamic, Amazigh, and Arab). Neither the government, nor the opposition or any institution may appropriate one or other of the foundations of our identity that are indivisible;
– Respect individual and collective freedoms regardless of race, gender or religion; – To promote national cohesion and strengthen the bonds of solidarity among all citizens; – Observe democracy as a means of governance; – reject all forms of violence in conflict management that are affecting society; – recognize the primacy of freely elected political authority over any institution, civil, military or religious; – ensure the absolute independence of justice.
In the Platform we also express our vision for change. We emphasize that change: – must be radical, peaceful and consensual; – requires the dissolution of the political police while restructuring the intelligence services with a redefinition of their missions to serve the country; – requires a genuine national reconciliation founded, far from any spirit of revenge or vengeance, on the duties of truth, memory and justice; – requires the participation of all citizens that aspire to change, and that, whatever their ideologies, their political leanings, without exception; – requires a political and social dynamics that is the result of consultation, coordination and joint action of all sincere good wills.
In the new Platform for a democratic change, we put forward also our vision of the transition, which will be made public on May 5th, 2012. It is worth mentioning here that we, the signatories of the Platform, believe that the military must accompany this popular dynamic of change and should position themselves as partners in this peaceful process towards the establishment of a genuine rule of law. All parties must take responsibility before history, to spare our people from other tragedies and sacrifices.
I use this opportunity to call on the international community to support this initiative launched by the Algerian opposition in its diversity, including genuine Political Islam activists this author identify himself with, and to end its support to Algeria’s Intelligence Agencies- backed government. If there is any red flag to be waved as a danger signal, it should be that of the military/security apparatus and its grips on the society, the state institutions and decisionmaking process.
II: The change in Algeria as advocated by genuine Political Islam’s activists
To those who are doubtful about ongoing efforts of Algeria’s opposition in its diversity, including Islamists, to achieve authentic democratic change in Algeria, this section will shed some light on what Algeria’s genuine Political Islam activists advocate. The focus will be on the approach of MLJS to a political change in Algeria .
We in the MLJS believe that our country, Algeria, whose people live an intolerable social bankruptcy, needs a new political system. Any reform of the situation in the country will be doomed to failure if it does not take into consideration the political system and how decisions are made. Algeria’s closed political system which allowed a small number of individuals, illegally and unconstitutionally, to confiscate the right of a whole people to choose their representatives.
The heinous military coup d’état of 11 January 1992 against the people’s choice led to a national tragedy, whose wounds are yet to be healed. The putschists suffered a major failure in the construction of a state in which citizens enjoy freedom and whose economy is strong, credible, and able to compete and be competitive in the global economic system. This is due to the absence of a political authority that is based on the people’s will and which reflect its diversity.
50 years after independence, our people have the right to a political system that will help achieve the objective of his costly war of liberation of 1954- 1962 : achieve national independence by 1 – restoring the Algerian state, sovereign, democratic and social, within the principles of Islam. 2 – Respecting fundamental freedoms without ethnic or religious discrimination.
It is our believe in the MLJS that in our country, Algeria, whose people have chosen the republican system, the only way to achieve such objective is to establish a political system based on the principle of free multiparty elections, without the intervention of the military and security in the political competition, with the separation of legislative, executive and judiciary systems, and respect for freedom of the press.
We have called on all Algerians to overcome our ideological and political differences and work together to prepare the conditions for the long-awaited change of political system is a comprehensive and gradual way.
We in the MLJS are determined to contribute in the national efforts to put Algeria back on track, to heal its wounds, to mobilize and activate its enormous potential energy in order to improve the living conditions of our people and to restore respect for our country. We are engaged in a national debate among opposition leaders for a establishing a political system that will be representative to the Algerian people in its diversity.
In this regard, and in an attempt to prevent any abuse of the vital element of Algeria’s social fabric, namely Islam, we in the MLJS are proposing constitutional changes to translate the following principals in order to define the relation of the State and political parties with Islam:
1- It is not possible for anyone to claim monopoly neither of Islam nor of its understanding; there are many possible interpretations of Islam and its applications. Therefore, the new constitution needs to emphasize that neither the state, nor the various political parties are to monopolize the expression of the religious truth.
2- However, any political party could choose to – or not to – inspire – its program from its understanding of Islam and its applications. It is up to people to freely elect any party whose program would respond to its aspirations.
3- The attitudes and practices which disturb pious people, and which discriminate them due to their religious lives and preferences, are in contradiction to human rights and liberty and as anti-democratic.
4 – On the other hand, it is also unacceptable to make use of religion for political interests, or to put pressure on people who think and live differently.
Our mentor the late Malek Bennabi said, “….democratization requires the slow destruction of despotic tendencies in the cultural consciousness.”
This is why, in addition to the conduct of fair, transparent and multiparty elections, we believe in the MLJS that a genuine democratic process aimed at establishing a democratic system of government ought to include:
1. Respect and promote the rule of law, equality in citizenship, and the fight against corruption and regionalism. 2. The respect and promotion of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration, the international conventions on human rights and international treaties against torture.
3. The guarantee of fundamental freedoms, individual and collective, regardless of race, sex, religion, or language. 4. Freedom of peaceful assembly; the formation of unions, charities, cultural or religious organizations, political parties, private media .
5. Respect of the alternation of power through free and pluralistic elections, the commitment of the party of the majority to respect the rights of other political parties, to reject any eradication policy. Similarly, minority parties ought to respect the right of the majority party in the implementation of its program as presented to the people in elections while preserving the right to exercise political opposition.
6. The rejection of violence as a means of access or preservation of power, and the rejection of dictatorship of any kind or form whatsoever, respect and promotion of tolerance and diversity.
7. Non-militarization of political parties or their funding from abroad, and non-interference of the military and security establishment in political competition; the principle of submitting it to the elected political authority. Respect of the country’s constitutional institutions and commitment to work within the Constitution, and that any constitutional amendment should be made only through the Constitution itself.
Also, the Algerian people are sovereign. This grants all Algerian individuals and collective rights of citizenship, without discrimination or exclusion, and which must be considered fundamental and permanent; they cannot be changed due to changes of government or constitution. These rights must be included in a “Charter of Citizenship” which should be submitted to popular referendum. We aim at establishing a state that is based on equal citizenship rights for all Algerians without any discrimination.
This message of MLJS members, who are identified as mainstream “political Islam” activists, has been received positively by the rest of the Algerian opposition; they are considered as full partner in the ongoing efforts for a genuine democratic transition in Algeria. Genuine Political Islam’s activists do not constitute an obstacle for a democratic change in Algeria.
It is the belief of this author that military, and particularly the intelligence agencies since the January 1992 military coup, constitute the real obstacle to a genuine democratic transition in Algeria. The next section will address the civil- military relations.
III: The Civilian-Military Relations: The Major Obstacle Facing Democratic Change in Algeria
There is no doubt that any government needs intelligence to overcome security challenges and potential threats facing the country. In-depth information and knowledge are required to understand the strategic context and potential security developments, including security risks and opportunities, as well as the actions, inactions, motivations, and strategies of existing and potential adversaries of the state. They are crucial in defining national interests, developing effective security policies and strategies, establishing adequate roles and missions for security forces, and elaborating doctrines and operations.
However, it is our belief that championing only intelligence effectiveness is dangerous to a democracy. Effectiveness usually depends on secrecy, which may feed abuses and shield the agencies from any form of scrutiny and accountability.
Since intelligence agencies have access to large amounts of information and knowledge regarding national security, and since the information flow is generally unidirectional (from intelligence to government branches and society), and sometimes uneven (intelligence agencies may withhold information), their ‘‘power’’ may rise, and they may refuse to serve the elected government policies, and instead pursue their own objectives, political or economic.
In Algeria, particularly since the military coup d’état of January 1992, we have powerful intelligence agencies called DRS, which misuse the executive branch for its own political/economic ends and special privileges of its members. This constitutes a major obstacle to our country in its efforts to achieve a transition from nondemocratic regimes to democracies.
Indeed, while the then President Colonel Chadli Ben Djedid engaged the country in a democratic change, some factions led by General Khaled Nezzar insisted in bringing back the nondemocratic regime: they have succeeded in their plot, thanks to the intelligence agencies led since September 1990 until today by General Tewfik.
The DRS has been for the past two decades using the politicians as a civilian facade, Judges to deter and remove potential adversaries, and controlling aggressive investigative journalists. Today it is using the legacy of the regime’s brutal past (its human rights violations and crimes against humanity) to promote within the military and security members a fierce resistance to genuine democratic change.
The DRS chiefs and some army generals are the major obstacle facing democratic change in Algeria. Considering these war criminals as experts in the ongoing war against terrorism is certainly not helping Algerians in their efforts to achieve a peaceful democratic transition.
IV: Toward a democratic reform of Intelligence Agencies
Algeria is in need of keeping the intelligence services insulated from politics and political parties while serving the state and citizens, and thereby distancing them from their previous status. There is crucial need in intelligence transparency to not only prevent such wrongdoings as the misuse of the country’s wealth and human rights abuses such as illegal intrusive actions, but also to help improve intelligence effectiveness in protecting the national interests.
Algeria needs democratic reforms of Intelligence. Democracy calls for politically neutral, transparent, and accountable, yet effective, intelligence. It is our view that a genuine Democratic reform of intelligence involves processes toward establishing an institutional framework whereby democratically elected civilians can control the intelligence agencies and at the same time maximize their potential for effectiveness.
The challenge is to develop and maintain military and intelligence agencies that protect democracy and are democratically accountable.
Algeria’s current problems are not impossible to solve. Algeria requires however without delay a new and fresh understanding; opening new horizons for Algerians. These goals can be reached through the restoration of liberty and social justice; the correction of the improper distribution of income; the eradication of poverty; the elimination of corruption; the start of a genuine economical development movement ensuring social peace, providing trust between states institutions and the citizens.
Algeria constitutes a clear-cut example on how depriving a population of a real democratic process does cause insecurity and an unstable political situation, as well as the deterioration of its socioeconomic condition. Indeed, “sustaining the totalitarian establishment is much more costly on the long run than letting the winds of change blow in Algeria”. The “laissez-faire” policy toward the interruption, in January 1992, of the peaceful democratic process in Algeria, has unfortunately cost our people over 250,000 victims, over 15,000 disappeared kidnapped by the DRS, tens of thousands of detainees, most of them went through institutionalized tortures, as well as hundreds of thousands displaced within the country and refugees abroad.
The West’s hands-off attitude toward the Algerians’ popular call for political change two decades ago, although this attitude was driven by some genuine fear of the unknown, (a Political Islam led government), has alienated the Western world to a great extent from Muslim populations and has contributed to the theory of a Western conspiracy against Islam. This attitude, in turn, if not corrected this time around in the midst of the “Arab Spring”, will continue to feed radical extremist groups with more frustrated youth.
Based on short-term considerations of order and stability, the international community seems to have accommodated itself in the past to the various Arab countries autocratic regimes and its cruel close up of the people’s political life, as well as its ignoring of the populations basic human rights.
It is time for policy makers around the world to approach Arab populations’ demand for political change with a new mindset, to paraphrase President Obama, engaging in a serious debate Muslim Reformists and their Islamic Movements across the Muslim and Arab World. The Arab spring should be used to promote the right to a stable governing inclusive system in the region. The people themselves are the real factor for long-term stability, global security, world economic prosperity, and hence lasting peace.
Appendix: Algeria’s Spring or the 1989-1991 Era of Political Openness
A Missed Opportunity for Peaceful Democratic Change
“… We want change, a comprehensive and gradual change through the ballot box and through the free choice of the people without any guardianship or alienation of its will…”
(Mohamed Said: Source: BBC Monitoring SWB, Dec. 16, 1991)
This appendix will revisit the 1989-1991 Algeria democratic era of political openness which followed the first “Arab Spring” of October 1988, over two decades ago, and the missed opportunity for a peaceful and democratic change in the Arab region, and world peace.
Following Algeria’s independence in July 1962, a group of military officers took over the institutions of the new state and imposed socialism and one party rule. Under successive military-backed governments, Algerians experienced political, economic, as well social hardship. In September 1988, the state of Algeria became almost bankrupt. 80% of state owned companies were in the red causing a rapid decline in the standard of living. Meanwhile a cast of privileged people was getting defiantly and openly richer.
This devastating socio-economic situation led to a popular demonstration in October 1988. For about a week, tens of thousands of Algerian youth marched in the street demanding liberty, justice and equity. This was the first major anti-regime demonstration, after more than 25 years of a one party imposed rule. it was considered an ultimate call for a change of the political system.
In February 1989, under continuous popular pressure, the constitution was amended allowing the organizing of free and multiparty elections at all levels. This “Algeria’s spring” was thought by Algerians as a new hope, as a way of getting out of the agonizing situation they were living in since the independence.
On June 12, 1990, the first multiparty Municipal and Provincial elections were held. The Algerians spoke for themselves for the first time in 160 years by choosing, peacefully in transparent multiparty elections, their local government officers:
– The Islamic Front for salvation (FIS) won 32 of the 48 Provincial (Wilaya) Assemblies.
– The 30 years ruling party, the Front for National Liberation (FLN) won only 14.
– The FIS won also 854 of the 1,541 Municipal Assemblies. The FLN won only 487.
The FIS won all major cities assemblies.
It is the restoration of confidence and trust between local governments and their constituencies that won politicians of Islamic Movement’s obedience, or Political Islam, the full support of the majority of Algerians, as shown by the total victory of FIS in the parliamentary elections a year and a half later.
The first round of the Parliamentary elections was held on December 26, 1991. To the credit of former Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid, the election results were published by Algerian State “Official Journal”. The results read as follow:
– Number of registered voters: 13,258,554 -Number of voters: 7,822,625: 59% of voters,
– Number of expressed voices: 6,897,719, thus 88.18% of voters, – Number of voided: 924,906
– Number of seats decided at the first round: 232 (out of 441 seats):
Islamic Front for Salvation (FIS): 188 seats, Number of Voices: 3,260,222
Front of Socialist Forces (FFS) : 25 seats, Number of Voices: 510,661
National Liberation Front (FLN): 16 seats, Number of Voices: 1,612,947
Independent Candidates : 3 seats
– Published in the same issue was the list of all first round winning candidates with the number of voices each one obtain, as well as the list of second round candidates.
Unfortunately, on January 11, 1992, the military moved in to interrupt the election process Algerians were successfully engaged in. They interrupted the first democratic process ever witnessed in a contemporary Arab state, engaging Algeria in a bloody war where its people are yet to heal their wounds.
Algerians came to know only a decade later, about a campaign of destabilization against the new party of majority was in fact instigated in order to justify the interruption of the democratic process. The head of the military coup, General Khaled Nezzar, included a copy of a document (entitled “Memorandum on the Situation of the Country and the Point of View of the Army”) in his 1999 memoirs, in which he described the document as “the military staff’s initiative” (also known as the “Nezzar Plan”), to prevent FIS from government by using propaganda and provocation to demonize and de-legitimize the FIS in the eyes of the public. General Nezzar and his colleagues entrusted the Intelligence apparatus, known as the DRS of General Toufik (still in charge of the DRS since September 1990!) with the implementation and execution of this “Plan.”
In recent years, many former members of the DRS have fled Algeria to seek asylum in Europe. They have revealed the regime’s manipulation of violence aiming at undermining FIS. One of these officers, is Lt. Colonel Mohamed Samraoui, the former number 3 of the DRS, wrote a book: “Chronicle of the Years of Blood, Algeria: How the Secret Services have Manipulated Islamic Groups. There is also the second lieutenant Habib Souaidia, who published the book Le Sale Guerre, (The Dirty War, 2001).
—————————————– CSID 13th Convention, Washington, DC, May 3rd, 2012: “The Arab Spring: Getting it Right”  Anwar N Haddam is the President and a co-founder of the Movement for Liberty & Social Justice (MLJS), in January 2007 in Algeria, a “working group” of Algerian Reformist politicians, in a process of being converted into a political party. A student and a disciple of the late Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi, Haddam has been involved with the Algerian Islamic Movement for the past forty years, and is one of the pioneers in its participation in politics.
A nuclear physicist, Haddam was a faculty member of the Physics Department of the University of Science and Technology of Algiers before being elected to the Algerian Parliament in December 1991 on behalf of the then party of majority the Islamic Front for Salvation (FIS),.
After the interruption of the democratic process in January 1992, he was given by FIS the mission to head its Parliamentary Delegation Abroad, in charge of the party’s international relations, from Mar. 1992 to Aug. 2002. In Sep. 2002, he became the FIS Political Advisor until his resignation from the party Aug. 2004.
Haddam is an advocate for a political solution to Algeria’s political authority crisis. He was an initiator and a signatory of the National Contract for a Peaceful & political Solution to Algeria Crisis” found in Rome in 1995 by the mean Algerians political parties in January; unfortunately the militaries rejected the platform. Haddam was invited in September 2005 to return back to the country to participate in the President project for national reconciliation. The infamous “eradicators” however opposed, and still are opposing, a veto to Haddam’s return to his country.
In the midst of the popular uprising in some of the Arab countries, and in an attempt to avoid chaos in his home country Algeria, Haddam is actively involved in building consensus between Algeria’s various political tendencies for a pacific, comprehensive and gradual democratic change of Algeria’s 50 years old military dominated political system.
An invited speaker, Haddam lectured on the Algerian crisis and on Politicians of Islamic Movement’s obedience (known as political Islam) at various institutions in Europe and in the US. A writer as well, he authored numerous articles and two books on the Algerian crisis and national reconciliation. Appendix 1: brief review of the 1990 and 1991 elections  “The Algerian Islamic Movement & “Political Islam”: An Insider’s Perspective”, by Anwar N. Haddam: CSID 9th Convention, Washington, DC, May 14th, 2008: “Political Islam & Democracy: What do Islamists & Islamic Movements want?” , Session 3: “Negotiating Democracy: the North African Context”  For example, here is a report published on April 19, 2012, on the new political reforms in Algeria: http://www.euromedrights.org/fr/dernieres-nouvelles/emhrn-releases/communiques-de-2012/11705.html  Law # 12-01 of January12, 2012 concerning elections (Official Journal of the Republic of Algeria(JORA) # 01, of January 14, 2012, p. 8); law #12-04 of January 12, 2012 concerning political parties (JORA # 02, of January 15, 2012, p. 9) ; law # 12-05 of January 12, 2012 concerning media (JORA # 02, of January 15, 2012, p. 18); law # 12-06 of January 12, 2012 concerning associations (JORA # 01, of January 14, 2012, p. 28).  The President of the Constitutional Council is appointed under Article 164,paragraph 3of the Algerian constitution, by the President of the Republic for a single term of six(6) years.  Organic Law No. 04-12 concerning the functioning of the Council of the Judiciary, Article 3, states that the chairman is the President and the vice-chairman is the Minister of the Interior. According to Article 3 of the Organic Law No.04-11 of September 6 2004, judges are appointed by Presidential decree on the proposal of the Minister of Justice after deliberation by the Council of the Judiciary.  MLJS or The Movement for Liberty & Social Justice (MLJS) is a political group that was established in January 2007 by former elected-representatives to the Algerian Parliament (FIS list, Dec. 1991) and political reformists; its quasi totality members are in Algeria. It is co-founded and headed by this author.  The MLJS approach to a political change have been detailed in a memorandum for a national Platform for a comprehensive and gradual change of the political system in Algeria, published in June 2011, in Hoggar Institute,
We in the MLJS have been engaging our partners in the opposition, nationalists and leftists alike, for the past year in the line of this memorandum. “Killing the Post –Almohad Man: Malek Bennabi, Algerian Islamism and the Search for a Liberal Governance” By Sebasrian J Walsh, The Journal of North African Studies, Vol 12, No 2, June 2007  I concluded by this observation, a talk I gave on “Islam, Democratization and the Future of Algeria”, at the Council for Foreign Relations, New York, New York, February 14, 1995, as a contribution to the Council’s Seminar series on Leaders from Muslim Societies.  Mohamed Said (1945-1995):Lecturer, University of Algiers (1985-1992) -President, alBina alHadari (1982-1992), oldest post-colonial Algeria’s Islamic Movement, established in 1967 – President, FIS Political Department (1993-1994), – Assassinated in 1995 by GIA, a manipulated armed group by the DRS, the Algerian Intelligence Agency.  “Le Journal Officiel” (31st year, # 1, Saturday January 4th, 1992):  Khaled Nezzar, Chihab Editions, Algiers 1999  Published in 2003 by Denoël Publishers, France