Un former soldier in the Foreign Legion elected deputy in Algeria? In the corridors of Parliament in Algiers, there is excitement after the revelations of local media on the deputy Mohamed Bekhadra, elected during the last legislative elections of June 2021 in the constituency of Marseille.
According to these media, Mohamed Bekhadra, “would have served in the Foreign Legion, fought in several African countries in the Sahel on behalf of France and then naturalized in 2006”.
For clarification, a deputy must have Algerian nationality, according to the law, but not exclusively, he can therefore be binational.
A medal-winning soldier
Still according to the same sources, this deputy from the Algerian community in France would have joined the Legion from 2002 to 2007 “in Aubagne in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône” before being “transferred to 4and regiment of the Foreign Legion based on the road from Pexiora to Castelnaudary in the department of Aude in the south-east of France”.
“He will be seconded to the French intervention regiment in Chad. At the end of his mission, he obtains a bronze medal. On his return to France, he was sent 1er foreign engineering regiment, in Laudun-l’Ardoise in the south-east of France”, details the daily The Young Independent. He will end up with the rank of corporal and would be “well noted by his superiors thanks to the medal which was awarded to him during the intervention in Chad”.
These “revelations” pushed Parliament, according to the daily El Khabar, to prohibit, last week, this deputy access to the hemicycle of the National People’s Assembly pending “his exclusion” from the assembly. The Minister of Justice was also seized by the presidents of parliamentary groups in order to lift the parliamentary immunity of Mohamed Bekhadra. A session of Parliament will decide in two weeks on his fate.
“The high election monitoring authority responsible for collecting candidacies could not reject his candidacy given the fact that he held Algerian nationality and resided legally in France and fulfilled the conditions required to take part in the legislative elections”, explains The Young Independent and his own party, the Algerian National Front – from which he was expelled for internal reasons – justified himself by arguing that he did not have the means to verify the past of his candidate.
The latter wanted to respond to these accusations in the columns ofEl Khabar this Monday, April 18. If he admits having been heard, on April 12, by the legal commission of the Parliament, he explains that he had already communicated documents on his commitment in the Legion to the “competent authorities”.
“Son of Martyr”
He also affirms that he was never enrolled in combat units, but as a nurse, notably in Djibouti. “It’s a page of my past that I closed for a long time”, testifies Mohamed Bekhadra, ulcerated by the trial of patriotism of which he is the object while he is a “grandson of chahid [martyr, combattant algérien tué durant la guerre d’indépendance] “.
The deputy also specifies that he had “joined the French army because it was a way of obtaining his residence papers and of financing, at the time, his studies”. The man is looking elsewhere for the reasons for what he considers to be a conspiracy mounted against him and believes that he should seek the side of the Algerian Consulate in Bordeaux, which he had criticized during a plenary session of Parliament. According to the deputy, it is moreover the Algerian embassy in Paris which initiated the proceedings against him. To be continued…