Only ten days are left before Algeria’s legislative elections and Algerians do not seem to take them seriously. Or perhaps are they very serious about them and know they won’t change anything and that would be why they decided to ignore them. I can only imagine Bouteflika’s disappointment after he had told the people that the elections day was as important as November 1, 1954.
On the other hand, the candidates and the system chose to ignore the people and their problems. Tit for tat you would say. People still complain about their bad situation, demonstrations are still forbidden, activists are jailed and youths do still set themselves on fire. But the electoral campaign follows its path undisturbed.
I don’t know what the official turnout will be like and who will be the official winners. One thing I am sure about is these elections are not as historic as some claim, and they won’t bring the change most Algerians expect.
Algeria’s Islamists believe their fate is linked to their friends’ in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. This led some of them to unite under the Green Algeria banner which, they hope, would give them the majority. The MSP even decided to cut with their former allies (FLN and RND) to drive this green locomotive. Djaballah, an Islamist who didn’t unite with them, also believes his chances are high and makes many proposals (just like the other candidates), and one of these proposals is to create a new ministry to manage the zakat.
Remember that Algeria has followed some other Muslim countries’ model and decided to manage the people’s zakat. It is done through the High Zakat Council which reports to the ministry of religious affairs. And as far as I know, this fund is not as successful as expected, many Algerians do not trust the state and prefer to give their zakat directly.
I don’t understand why a Zakat ministry’s needed and I do not think it would improve anything. And if they absolutely have to create a new ministry I guess they should rather make one for the pilgrimage. Both the ministry of religious affairs and the national office of pilgrimage and omra have failed in managing the few thousands who perform Hadj every year.
Ok I do not think we need a new ministry at all, and perhaps we should suppress some of the existing. But I was disappointed that only Djaballah came up with this idea. The other candidates should also suggest new ministries. I am not a candidate but I would create a ministry of blogging. What do you say?