President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, affirmed that he believes only in the “authentic and blessed” movement, which ignored the “voices” that were pushing it to go to a transitional stage.
In an interview with the French newspaper “Le Point”, the President of the Republic added, “I no longer use this word (Hirak) because things have changed.”
The President of the Republic clarified that the only movement in which “I believe is the authentic and blessed movement (Hirak) that spontaneously gathered millions of Algerians in the streets, adding that this movement chose the path of reason by going to the presidential elections (December 12, 2019), stressing that this movement “did not listen to the loud voices that were pushing it toward a transitional stage, and ten million Algerians chose to vote.”
The President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, stressed that “a minority rejected the elections, and I believe that every Algerian has the right to express his opinion, but I reject the dictates of the minority.”
The President of the Republic also indicated that he was “surprised” to see a Democrat reject the ballot box and call for appointment.
Moreover, the President of the Republic added, “I will always be amazed that a Democrat, who defines himself as such, rejects the ballot box and calls for appointment. And while he does not reject the opinion of the majority, it is in itself an undemocratic opinion. why would you want to appoint people to lead the country, and who are you? Why this vanity / You, who have never carried arms, to quote “Le Cid”, as the President of the Republic stated.
In the same context, he stated that “when the marches, after the presidential elections, were still numbering between 20 and 25 thousand demonstrators across the country,” he was “the first to extend his hand to the movement and receive them.”
He added that “my first government had five ministers,” and they are people I’ve seen insulting me in videos. Then we started releasing prisoners to get to 120 people who were released. People kept criticizing me, but I continued to gesticulate, emphasizing, “I think that was interpreted as weakness. People thought we were in a difficult situation, they were wrong.”
On the other hand, he pointed out that “the protester and the policeman who maintains public order are the sons of the same republic.”
The President of the Republic stressed, “I have no right to let them intertwine, especially since the calls for violence were clear, and as long as we were in the stage of ideas, there was no problem, but the calls for violence are something else.”
The President of the Republic added, “We find everything today, in what is left of the movement. There are those who cry out for an Islamic state! And others chant No Islam! The protesters may be expressing anger, but it is not the original movement. It is very heterogeneous.”
In response to a question about Algeria’s classification of Rachad and the Movement for the Self-Determination of the Kabylie Region (MAK) as terrorist movements, the President of the Republic said, “It was they who considered themselves as such.” He continued, saying that Rachad began recruiting in all directions and giving instructions to confront the security services and the army, while the MAK tried to carry out operations using car bombs. In the face of calls for violence, patience has limits.
As for the “Liberté” newspaper correspondent in Tamanrasset, who was arrested and placed under temporary detention, due to a press article, the President of the Republic indicated that he “inflamed the situation in the way he dealt with a very sensitive issue,” describing it as a “very dangerous matter.”
On a question related to the situation in the country that preceded the December 2019 presidential elections, the President of the Republic indicated that “the country was on the edge of the abyss,” but fortunately, there was the popular uprising, represented by the original and blessed Hirak on February 22, 2019, which allowed to stop the dissolution of the state by canceling the fifth mandate, which would have enabled the gang, that small group that seized power and even the powers of the former president to act in his name, to run the country.”
He added, “There are no longer any effective institutions, only group interests resulting from the corruption system,” stressing that “therefore, it was necessary to rebuild the republic, including democratic institutions.”
Back to his absence after being infected with the Covid-19 virus, the President of the Republic said that this did not affect the exercise of governance, but he “delayed the reform program,” adding that this did not affect the reform program, but rather delayed it. But we managed to get the state to work in my absence. The proof of this is that the rehabilitation of the institutions that they have embarked on has succeeded.”
The President of the Republic also indicated that he was able to evaluate his immediate surroundings and the projects that were launched, as he stressed, “I was able to conduct an evaluation of my immediate surroundings and the projects that we launched. Some thought that it was the sinking – and you know who leaves the ship in such cases – but I noted, with pride, all the loyalty of the army, headed by Chief of Staff Saïd Chanegriha,” stressing that “we used to call each other every morning.”
Referring to his career in the service of the state, considering that “having worked for more than fifty years in the service of the state”, since graduating from the National School of Administration in 1969, it is “very difficult to carry out the opposition within the system itself”, however, “I did, I was kind of a black sheep. I was sent to positions where there were many problems and the name of the man of steel stuck to me, because I did not hesitate to say what I thought.”
He continued, “I was really convinced in 2017, that Algeria was heading straight into the abyss, and that if the deterioration of institutions continues, this will also affect the nation-state itself, and not only the authority,” stressing in the same regard, “We were more and more like a Banana Republic, where everything was decided in a villa located in the heights of Algiers. Institutions became purely formal, except for the army, which managed to maintain its position.” So we had to act and I announced, as Prime Minister, before Parliament, that salvation would come from the separation of money and power. My family and I paid the price, but this is part of the risk of exercising power.”
The President of the Republic also indicated that he was not the candidate of a political party, but rather the candidate of the people and the youth, whom he considers “pillars” on which he depends a lot, expressing his regret that “many of our parties do not represent a stream of ideas, but are based on a person immortalized on their head, without any desire to open up,” or reform,” adding, “You should pay attention here, I am not saying that I do not believe in the political class, but it is a little compared to the people. As all parties combined do not have a total of 800,000 activists, while our number is close to 45 million Algerians.” “Maybe later, he said, when the institutions regain their status and functions, and are freed from the dictates of corrupt money, we will think of creating a presidential party, but not at the moment.”
In response to a question about another possible presidential term, he indicated that he does not think about it and that his task is to enable the country to recover. “Honestly, I don’t think about it. My task is to enable my country to recover, to combat nepotism, to rebuild institutions, and to make the Republic belong to all. Another term? I do not know. We are still at the beginning of my mandate.”
On the other hand, the President of the Republic noted that Algeria is a country that is “easy to live in” and that “our culture of solidarity is exceptional, as we saw during the health crisis: citizens multiplied initiatives to help each other.” He also noted that health and education in Algeria are “free” and that “compared to neighboring countries, we had few recruits in the ranks of the Islamic State, and we have fewer harragas, according to the statistics of detention centers in Spain and Italy.”
The President of the Republic concluded his speech by saying, “We can be happy, but we have to have the courage to see our country differently. We can hate Tebboune, but we do not hate our country.”