Algerian government put the MPs of the National People’s Assembly under great responsibility, concerning reactivating the proposed draft law criminalizing French colonialism, which was kept in the drawers of the National People’s Assembly for more than a decade.
The government absolved itself of any responsibility to disrupt the draft law criminalizing colonialism, and said, in the words of its Foreign Minister, Sabri Boukadoum, during a symposium on Echaab “People” newspaper that it did not and would not interfere in Parliament’s work on demands for “compensation” for the crimes of the colonial past, which is the first statement from a senior government official, on this issue, which has been and continues to be the subject of tension.
The words of the Foreign Minister embody the constitutional rule that speaks of the separation of the executive and legislative branches, and the minister’s speech carries suggestions that the government does not oppose the implementation of this project, which is welcomed by large groups of Algerians.
Before that, the Minister of Mujahideen (war veterans), Tayeb Zitouni, had promised to solve this dilemma: “I declare without equivocation that we will proceed towards the enactment of a law to criminalize colonialism, which is inevitable”.
“The law criminalizing colonialism will be a law of moral value equal to the constitution itself”, he added.
It seems that the President of the National People’s Assembly, Slimane Chenine, was also convinced of the necessity to take the path to revive the project when he said at the end of the adoption of the eighth of May as a national day of memory; “The criminalization of colonialism is a popular demand, and a sovereign decision does not mean only representatives, but all the honourable people, who are many compared to those who break it while they are few”.
“The new Algeria is on the way to achieving the martyrs’ trust with a great national dimension, and accurate knowledge of the transformations that are surrounding it”.
Since the fall of the regime of the former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the demands of the revolutionary family and the majority of the political parties and the collective movement have not ceased to necessitate the resumption of the project to criminalize colonialism, which exists among its clauses, to compel the former colony to provide compensation for the victims who fell during the era of hateful French occupation, because of the looting of wealth, nuclear tests in the south of the country and its implications.
The People’s National Assembly is also witnessing a movement, represented by 120 MPs who created a committee to follow up the draft law criminalizing colonialism, which was deposited with the administration of the parliament at the end of January, and demanded that Slimane Chenine must expedite its transfer to the government for consideration.
The two (former) MPs who initiated the draft criminalization law, Moustafa Abdi, from the National Liberation Front party, and Mouhamed Houdaibi from Annahda, confirmed to Echorouk earlier that Ahmed Ouyahia’s government had stood in the way of the proposal, arguing that the project overlaps with the foreign policy that remains one of the exclusive powers of the Presidency.
For the first time, this harmony takes place between the various state institutions, and between the authority and the opposition about an old and renewed issue. So has the criminalization of colonialism come to the fore?