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Algerian President Bouteflika Asks Islamists to Partake in Upcoming Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on June 15, 2015 in Algiers, Reuters

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has called for the Islamist opposition movement “Movement for a Society of Peace” MSP to rejoin the government after five years of abandoning it.

Algeria’s new cabinet is scheduled to be formed on May 23, the “National People’s Assembly” (upper chamber of parliament) will include 462 deputies.

MSP Chief Abderazak Mokri revealed that he met with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal in the government palace on Wednesday.

A week after the May 4 legislative elections, Sellal contacted Mokri, asking him to participate in the next government. PM Sellal cited Bouteflika’s desire for the MSP’s return to government after it had removed itself from official offices after “Arab Spring” events.

“We were contacted two days ago by an emissary, then the Prime Minister called me today to confirm the request and to clarify that it emanates from the President of the Republic,” posted Mokri on his official Facebook page.

But MSP head Abderazak did not give a decisive response to Sellal, saying that such a decision would only be taken by the party’s advisory board “Shura Council”— party counselors will be convening after the Constitutional Council issues verdicts on opposition- filed appeals protesting the ‘rigged’ results of parliamentary elections last week.

After joining forces with the Islamic Change Front, MSP won 33 seats, ranking third in terms of power, coming after the first-ranking power to the majority-holder National Liberation Front (FNL), Bouteflika’s party, with 164 parliamentary seats. Ranking second, the National Rally for Democracy (NDA) led by Secretary-General ‎Ahmed Ouyahia won 100 parliamentary seats.

Nominees for the African country’s new parliament speaker, who is traditionally elected from the majority ranking party, are now under way. Former agriculture minister Sid Ahmed Ferroukhi, FNL’s candidate, is among the strong prospects for the position.