Algerian Parliament passes electoral bill

Both chambers of parliament agreed on amendments for independent elections authority

Ali Abo Rezeg   | 13.09.2019
Algerian Parliament passes electoral bill FILE PHOTO

ALGIERS, Algeria

Algeria's upper chamber of parliament -- the Council of the Nation -- passed a bill on Friday for the creation of a supreme electoral commission for the first time in the country's history, ahead of a landmark presidential ballot before the end of the year.

Including various additional amendments on the country's elections law, the bills were accepted during a session attended by acting Speaker Saleh Koujail and in the presence of Algerian Minister of Justice Belkacem Zgmati.

The lower parliamentary house had voted overwhelmingly for the bills on Thursday.

According to the bill, the "Independent National Electoral Authority", will take over the oversight and organization of elections from the Interior Ministry.

The amendments also introduced the requirement for presidential candidates to have university degrees, and assigned the task of reviewing prospective candidates to the Independent Electoral Authority instead of the Constitutional Court.

Algeria has been in turmoil since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 after 20 years in power, under pressure from mass protests demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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