Speech by Ali Benflis – Translation of El Watan
Great Algerian people,
Preliminary information in my possession prove the existence of a large scale fraud operation. All along this day, serious irregularities were reported in a large number of wilayas. These irregularities were amplified as the end of voting operations approached. The fraud exercise we noticed today is only the ultimate step in a process that started a long time ago with the instrumentalization of the entire State electoral apparatus. April 17, 2014 will go down in the memory of this generation and that of the future generations as a missed rendezvous with change and renewal. Our national history will remember this date as a serious crime committed against the nation by violating conscience, stealing votes of citizens and confiscating the people’s will. Once again we are dealing with fraud and it has once again dispossessed our great people of their right to freely choose their governors and to opt for the political project that addresses their aspirations and expectations.
Leading to this operation of hijacking the people’s choice, our People were not spared anything, not intimidation, nor threats, nor insults, nor the feeling of fear that the hijackers tried to instill in them by the most immoral means. The authors of this exercise are only forgetting that this great people are fearless, they do not give in to threats or intimidation. Deep within themselves, they are only concerned with the nation’s supreme interest. I firmly denounce this conspiracy, prepared and executed by national hands against our people’s sovereignty, against the nation’s vital interests and against the democratic alternative. Great Algerian people, I, in all circumstances, have advocated change, organized and peaceful change, and I always defended the ballot boxes as a preferred means of such change. I deeply regret that the ballot box has been discredited and that the popular vote was made incapable of fairly and loyally refereeing between the candidates and their political programs. Fraud has once again gotten the better of freedom of expression and of the sovereign choice of the Algerian people. In these circumstances, I wish to state the following; First, I firmly condemn the use of massive fraud to perpetuate the current regime. Second, I announce to all my fellow citizens that I would not, and under no circumstance, accept the results that will come out of this fraudulent exercise. Third, I will oppose, with all my energy, this electoral takeover, and I will use in this regard all the peaceful political means as well as all the legal ways at my disposal so that the sovereign choice of our people prevails. At this particularly delicate and decisive time in the life of the nation, I urgently call the entirety of the Algerian people to show serenity, patience, alertness and not to give in to any provocation in a way that will harm our compatriots‘ tranquility or our national community’s quietude.
Algiers, on April 17.
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