Politics, Africa

Algerian army chief urges formation of electoral panel

North African country is set to hold its first post-Bouteflika presidential poll on July 4

Abdelrazzak Abdullah   | 20.05.2019
Algerian army chief urges formation of electoral panel

ALGIERS

Algerian Army Chief-of-Staff Ahmed Gaid Saleh on Monday called for the swift formation of an “independent” electoral commission in advance of July 4 presidential elections.

Speaking on state television, Saleh said the upcoming poll would serve to “prevent a constitutional vacuum and constrain those who seek to prolong the crisis”. 

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, stepped down early last month following several weeks of popular demonstrations against his 20-year rule. 

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period overseen by the army.

Demonstrators, however, have remained on the streets to demand the departure of all officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah. 

According to the Interior Ministry, more than 80 people have so far expressed interest in contesting the upcoming election.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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