The following statement, from the Algerian Parti socialiste des travailleurs (PST), was published the day after the 1 November referendum on President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s constitution – the first attempt to understand the meaning of the constitution’s popular ratification.
For the regime, the vote was both a success and a failure. As PST leader Samir Larbi noted separately, the 69% ‘Yes’ on a 23,7% turnout revealed the weakness of its ‘hégémonie sur la société‘, even more than the near rock-bottom participation in the 12 December présidentielle that brought Tebboune himself to power.
The popular, historical rejection of the regime and its constitution demands the election of a sovereign Constituent Assembly.
According to the official figures, approximately 77% of the electorate refused to participate in the farcical 1 November referendum.
This was a full-throated rejection of the new constitution and a terrible electoral defeat for the regime – this illegitimate, de facto authority – and the wider system it embodies.
This widespread rejection of the constitution draws its strength from the intifada that was the Popular Movement [Hirak] that began in February. Despite the ‘truce’, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hirak volcano remains active.
The regime mobilised all of its material, financial, and human resources [for the vote], especially the bosses and their mouthpieces: On the one hand, the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the Democratic National Rally (RND), and on the other, the public and private media, which it dominates. Despite all this, the regime has taken a huge political blow – the majority of the Algerian people still demand the departure of the liberal, authoritarian, anti-social regime, and reject the continuation of the system in any form.
On the 66th anniversary of the start of the national liberation war, the PST affirms that the Algerian people’s struggle to regain their freedom, their dignity, and their sovereignty – against repression and social oppression – continues. This fight passes through the election of a sovereign Constituent Assembly, one that expresses the democratic and social aspirations of workers, the unemployed, small peasants, women, and all of the downtrodden amongst the people.
On this occasion, the PST again calls for:
- The immediate lifting of all barriers hindering the practical exercise of democratic and trade union freedoms.
- The freeing of all political prisoners.
- Solidarity with workers’ struggles, and the combining of social and democratic struggles.
The National Secretariat
2 November 2020