Algerian Government To Hold Constitution Referendum On November 1

The Algerian government has set November 1 as a date to hold a referendum on a new constitution that is aimed at boosting democracy and giving parliament a greater role, the presidency announced on Monday, reported France 24.

The referendum date was announced after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s meeting with the head of the election authority Mohamed Chorfi earlier on Monday, the presidency said in a statement.

The date also marks the anniversary of the start of Algeria’s 1954-1962 war for independence from France.

Elected last December, Tebboune has repeatedly pledged to introduce political and economic reforms in the country and to meet the demands of the protestors.

According to a previous presidential statement, the draft constitution is related to basic rights and public freedoms, strengthening the separation and balance of powers, transparency, preventing and combating corruption, and the independent national authority for elections.

As per the draft, the new constitution would give the prime minister and parliament more powers to govern North African country of 45 million people.

The Algerian government has said the draft, which kept presidential terms limited to two mandates, would be submitted before the parliament for debate and approval before a referendum.

Mass protests erupted in Algeria in February last year against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plan to seek a fifth term after 20 years in power.

The country’s constitution has been amended several times since independence from France, and during the two-decade Bouteflika era it had been amended as per the deposed leader’s requirements.

 Even after Bouteflika’s exit, the protestors continued to demand the departure of the old guard as well as the prosecution of people accused of corruption. Two former prime ministers, several ministers and prominent businessmen have been jailed over corruption charges since then.

The Algerian government had banned mass demonstrations in March this year as part of measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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