Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Boycotting Preparations for Algeria Presidential Elections Won’t Help, Gov Spokesman

Boycotting Preparations for Algeria Presidential Elections Won’t Help, Gov Spokesman

Thursday, 18 April, 2019 - 11:30
Algerian citizens in Paris, France protesting Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid to stand for a fifth term (AFP)
Algiers- Asharq Al-Awsat

The Algerian government is open to any initiative and keen to perform its public duties, stressed Spokesman of the Government Hassane Rabehi, while calling for dialogue and consensus.

Rabehi addressed mayors who are boycotting the preparations for the presidential elections, asserting that elections are legitimate. Asked why some names of candidates were not published, he pointed out that “there are no bad intentions behind that.”

In response to allegations of violence against protesters, the spokesman stressed that national security had not received instructions to use violence with demonstrators, asserting that only “a crazy person” would consider beating a citizen.

Rabehi noted that policemen are from the people and share their concerns, and if the forces were advocates of violence, they would have used it since day one, according to Ennahar online.

Meanwhile, lawyers marched peacefully Wednesday chanting for the toppling of the regime and holding the corrupt accountable. They also called on the army to protect the homeland from enemies and to protect its security.

Hundreds of Algerians rallied Wednesday near General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) calling on its chief, Abdel-Madjid Sidi Said, who is known for his ties to ousted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to quit.

The protesters indicated that Sidi Said has been Secretary-General since 1997, and he is one of the known supporters of Bouteflika that the people have been demanding to leave office since February 22.

For years, Sidi Said was one of Bouteflika’s most enthusiastic backers and initially supported the ousted president’s bid for a fifth term, which brought crowds onto the streets for weeks prompting the leader to quit on April 2.

But, the Sec-Gen, liked prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia and Ali Haddad, eventually welcomed the army’s call to find a constitutional way to put an end to Bouteflika’s ruling.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education reported that a large number of third secondary year students were absent from schools reaching 89 percent across the country’s high schools, while the attendance rate reached 11 percent of students on a regular basis.

It is noteworthy that the popular movement imposed a delay in the educational programs of the official exams, grade four and third-year secondary, given that a large number of the examiners preferred to support the peaceful protests.

The General Inspection of Pedagogy issued a statement to inspectors to find appropriate solutions to overcome the lost time without compromising the essence of the educational programs by skipping some lessons and activities while providing basic instructions before the end of the third semester.

In other news, opposing parties hailed the resignation of the Head of Algeria’s constitutional council, Tayeb Belaiz, following mounting pressure from protesters.

The Movement of Society for Peace, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, considered Belaiz’s resignation in line with the demands of the popular movement and an essential step towards find a solution if was a genuine political will.

The Movement called on President Abdelkader Ben Salah to step down to be succeeded by the president of the new constitutional council, and change the government of Noureddine Bedoui with another consensual cabinet composed of independent figures.

In addition, Ali Benflis, who leads the Vanguard of Freedoms party, said that with the resignation of Bouteflika, a part of the regime’s pillars has collapsed, indicating that Algerians await for the rest to fall down, namely prime minister and head of People’s National Assembly, reported the German Press Agency.

Editor Picks