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Algerian Figures Call for Agreement That Meets Protesters’ Aspirations

Algerian Figures Call for Agreement That Meets Protesters’ Aspirations

Sunday, 19 May, 2019 - 10:30
Demonstrators gesture towards police officers during an anti-government protest in Algiers, Algeria May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Three prominent Algerian figures called on the military leadership to start “frank and honest” talks with representatives of the demonstrators, political parties and the civil society supporting the civil movement to find a consensual political solution as soon as possible.

They said this solution should respond to legitimate popular aspirations, which have been put forward every day for almost three months now.

As the situation in Algeria nears a dead-end, former Foreign Minister Ahmed Talib Brahimi, dean of human rights activists in Algeria senior Lawyer Ali Yahya Abdel Nour, 98, and the retired general, Rashid Ben Yels, proposed solutions.

The three figures are known for their engagement in public affairs, especially at times of crises.

“The deadlock witnessed nowadays carries grave dangers, in addition to the tension in our regional environment,” the three figures said in a joint statement.

“Sticking to July 4 to hold elections will only postpone the inevitable birth time of the new republic,” the statement added.

“How can we imagine holding free and fair elections that are already rejected by the vast majority of people, being organized by institutions that are still run by incompetent forces hostile to constructive change?” They wondered.

They were referring in their statement to acting head of state Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who are both stalwarts of Bouteflika’s regime.

However, they both, in fact, are kept in their positions by Army Chief Gaid Salah under the pretext of “adhering to the constitution.”

Demonstrators, according to the statement, are calling for building a state of law with true democracy after ousting Bouteflika.

This law should be preceded by a short transition period led by figures who had nothing to do with the former corrupt system over the past 20 years.

“This phase is necessary in order to develop mechanisms and take measures that will allow the sovereign people to voice their opinions with freedom and democracy and decide on their president through ballot boxes,” the statement noted.

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