WED 19 - 2 - 2020
Date: Jun 4, 2019
Source: The Daily Star

Folder: Elections
Algeria cancels July 4 presidential vote
ALGIERS: Algeria’s Constitutional Council Sunday canceled the July 4 presidential election in this energy-rich North African country, plunged for months in a political crisis, after the two candidates - both unknowns - were rejected. The council said in a statement that it is now up to the interim president, Abdel-Kader Bensalah, to set a new date for the vote.

Only two candidates turned in their files by the May 25 deadline, but the Constitutional Council rejected them. It did not say why.

A presidential election was ordered after ailing long-time leader Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 under pressure from the public and the powerful army chief, ending two decades of rule.

Citizens have held pro-democracy protests each Friday since Feb. 22 to press for a new era with new leadership that has no links to Bouteflika, who was rarely seen in public since a 2013 stroke.

Protesters want other top officials, including the interim president - an ally of Bouteflika - to leave office to ensure a new era for Algeria, which has been run since independence from France in 1962 by a generation that fought in the seven-year-long war.

Bensalah was named interim leader for a 90-day period, in keeping with the constitution. The Constitutional Council’s decision to cancel the July 4 voting and ask him to organize a new election suggests that he will remain in office beyond that limit, which will end in the second week of July.

The council statement said that organizing elections was the interim leader’s “essential mission.”

The cancellation of the elections, decried by protesters, carried little surprise. Army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah appeared to acknowledge that the date was no longer firm, in an address last week to soldiers in which he called for dialogue - but rejected a transitional period demanded by numerous party leaders and by protesters, out of fear it could lead to chaos and a dangerous vacuum.

He said elections should be held “in the shortest delay possible.”

Friday, hundreds of thousands again took to the streets of Algiers and other cities to call for Bensaleh’s removal and that of Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who was appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down.

Gaid Salah has called on political parties and protesters to meet among themselves to discuss a way out of the crisis.

Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
Related News
Algerian protests blunted without a shot fired
Algeria frees prominent war veteran
Algeria appoints new government amid worst political crisis in decades
Algeria names Abdelaziz Djerad as its new prime minister
Algerians protest against new president, reject his offer of dialogue
Related Articles
Algeria: Sports win to economic success
The Arab Spring Is Not Returning to Algeria and Morocco
Algeria’s moment of truth; time for change or a bluff?
The military have made their move in Algeria and Sudan – but is there something the generals have missed?
Could Algeria's protests set off Arab Spring 2.0?
Copyright 2020 . All rights reserved