Jazairana

Random highlights from the Algerian media - because English speakers need to follow Algeria news too

Thursday, June 01, 2006

HMS reservations on constitution change

El Khabar, El Watan: HMS president Bouguerra Soltani expresses rather timid reservations about the ruling FLN's plan to change article 74 of Algeria's constitution to allow the president to be reelected more than once.

This is, of course, just another manifestation of HMS's irrational Islamist hostility to progress. After all, the more experienced a president is, the better he can govern the country, and we wouldn't want to have less experienced leaders than our fellow Arab League members, now would we?

4 Comments:

At 12:03 PM, Blogger KNL said...

Hey,
I agree with some of your sentiments.

This is, of course, just another manifestation of HMS's irrational Islamist hostility to progress. After all, the more experienced a president is, the better he can govern the country, and we wouldn't want to have less experienced leaders than our fellow Arab League members, now would we?

But we don't want to have a dictator as well. Term limits are good for checking the executive's power. Algeria has a very strong executive and a very weak legislature. A term limit would even out the power and make the political system more dynamic and progressive.

I agree that HMS is reactionary and against change, but reservations about this modification are warrented. Many advanced countries have similar limits and make good progress. Term limits are a valid way of keeping the democratic process alive.

Just because the people want the same old man in office for many years does not mean that this is what's best. There have to be checks and balances. We will have more presidents this way which means there will be more competetion between presidential hopefuls and thus higher quality candidates.

Just because someone is in office for many years does not make them experienced: look at Benjedid, he was in power for about a decade and the country's situation became worse and worse, eventually forcing people to reactionary groups. And the other Arab League countries are quite depressed, some more than Algeria. I don't think we should aspire to be like them. I mean, Hosni Mubarak has been in power for 25 years and what has he accomplished? Not much. A little, but nothing really great. He's experienced. Or Qaddafi? I mean, he basically made the world hate his country with his term in office. I think Algeria should become more democratic, not less. If we want to have great experienced leaders like the other Arabs, why not just have a monarchy like in the Gulf or reinstate the Beylik system? Rather than trying to out do the other AL countries by the number of terms in office our presdents can have, why not out do them by the quality of our presidents? I don't meet many Egyptians that like Mubarak, or Iraqis that liked Saddam or Syrians that liked Hafez Asad. Presidents should have limits on their power so that the legislature and judiciary and population can all function and have influence. I know there are Islamists that cause trouble but I am sure they would not mind getting elected, reelected and so on if the constitution is changed and they can win. Even if Boutef were to win another reelection, I would still be a bit irritated because he is one of the same old faces my grandparents and parents talk about. We should have a new pool of talent to choose from.

I think that this stipulation should be retained until the government shows that the elections are as clean and free as possible. They are good, but not great and I feel like there are alterior motives behind the government's wanting to amend it. It smells fishy to me. Maybe after a few clean transfers this can be done, but not so early.

Best wishes and cheers,

Nouri

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger KNL said...

I made a post about this issue, come and check it out.

Cheers,

Nouri

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Lameen Souag said...

Thanks for the considered comment, but... I was trying to be ironic here. Abolishing term limits is manifestly a dangerous idea.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger KNL said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...I feel stupid now. lol. I have to say you have the one of the best blogs around, keep it up.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home