The results of the senatorial elections have been published. The FLN won 23 seats, the RND 20, the MSP and FNA 2 each, and the RCD 1.
So as expected, the Governmental Alliance (FLN, RND and MSP) won the elections and it is just fair to consider the elections a non-event. And honestly, I would still call it a non-event if a different result came out of the ballot. This is because it is almost impossible for the National Council, by its construction and because of the current Algerian political microcosm, to experience a noticeable change. The National council’s construction does indeed consolidate stability since the president of the Republic appoints one-third of its members, and only half of the members is renewed at a time. Add to this the fact the first three parties in Algeria are associated in the Governmental Alliance.
It is also a non-event because of the very role of this Council. Instead of being a second centre of the legislative power as described here, it is rather used by the President (the executive power) to control the lower chamber of the parliament. This second non-written role is not even performed today since both chambers are under the control of the President: The majority in the lower chamber is held by the three Alliance parties who campaigned for the President and adopted and shared his program, and the majority in the National council is a mixture of members of the same Alliance and members appointed by the President himself.
So if I want to find some interesting points from these not-so-interesting elections I have to look elsewhere.
We first have the PT/RND alliance. And because I cannot see any convergence point between the ideologies of these two parties, I have to think that it has more to do with a survival action from the PT. Hanoune says the alliance will not stop after the senatorial elections so we can expect some side effects. What will happen to the Governmental Alliance? And will the PT finally join the government and stop being like the stereotype of the Trotskyst parties around the world? In which case, will the PT’s political line change and shall it keep its militants?
Then we have the MSP who is still suffering of its internal divisions (Menasra vs. Soltani) and who lost six seats after these elections. Its place in the Governmental Alliance is fragile and the PT is pushing. Not to forget the other “Islamist” parties’ threat.
Finally, the FNA confirmed its results in the last legislative elections and won its first seats in the National Council. It will be interesting to watch their actions towards the government and the ruling system. How long will they stay within the opposition?
Ok this might not be very interesting after all. During the campaign, we kept hearing of people spending hundreds of thousands of Dinars to become candidates. We also heard of people who wanted to be elected only to enjoy the parliamentary immunity. We also heard of the usual comedy of electors forced to swear on the Mos’haf that they’ll vote for their parties’ candidates.
These elections will be an event only when our democracy stops being a travesty and when the elected people do really work for the country and its people.