Prominent Islamist figures in Algeria expressed their optimism at the victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi which they saw as a fresh start for the region and a boost for the Arab Spring.
Ali Belhadj, vice-president of the dispersed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), posted a note on his website congratulating Mursi for becoming Egypt’s first elected president.
“I congratulate Mohammed Mursi for winning the Egyptian presidential elections and I hope he will excel in both religious and worldly affairs and will overcome all the internal and external challenges facing him.”
Belhadj warned Mursi of the “intrigues” woven by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Mubarak’s loyalists and noted that the votes Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister and Mursi’s fellow presidential candidate, got show the former regime has not yet been uprooted.
Bouguerra Soltani, head of the Islamist Movement of the Society for Peace, said he contacted Muslim Brotherhood leaderships to congratulate them on this victory.
“Mohammed Mursi’s victory was not a stroke of luck, but rather the result of an achievement that started with rebelling against the repressive regime,” he told Al Arabiya.
Soltani refused to compare between the Egyptian model and its Algerian counterpart.
“In Egypt, the military were left with no option but to resort to the law and that is why justice eventually overcame all threats and obstacles.”
Soltani said that Mursi had visited Algeria several time before and that expects it to be among his first trips after assuming office.
“Egypt, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia are the three countries upon which the future of the Arab nation depends.”
Abdallah Djaballah, leader of the Movement for National Reform, praised the Egyptian judiciary for its ability to remain unbiased throughout the political conflict.
“The Egyptian judiciary needs to be doubly congratulated,” he told Al Arabiya. “It has always been known for its efficiency, but this time it did an honorable job. In Algeria, there is no judicial power, but only an executive power and the rest are civil servants.”
For Djaballah, Mursi’s ascension to power is a victory for the Arab Spring and gives more hope for the rest of the region.
“I think now it is the responsibility of Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia to dispel people’s apprehensions about political Islam and to counter the tarnishing campaign that targeted all Islamists.”
Fateh Rabiai, secretary general of the Islamic Renaissance Movement, said that Mursi’s victory and the success of the Egyptian electoral process in general inspire optimism as opposed to the situation in Syria and Libya.
“The unrest that followed the toppling of the regime in Libya and the brutal repression of protests in Syria made many lose hope and start thinking that pre-revolution stability is better, but the election of Mursi made things look a lot more promising.”
According to Rabiai, Islamists will definitely come to power and reach the presidency in Algeria if elections are free and fair.
“What we have right now in Algeria is a farce and not elections.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)