Algeria: Presidential Elections on December 12
Algeria will hold a presidential election on December 12, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced in a televised speech on Sunday.
"I have decided... that the date of the presidential election will be Thursday, December 12," said Bensalah, after army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah announced earlier this month that it is best to summon an electoral college on September 15.
The Algerian constitution stipulates that presidential elections are held within ninety days from the date the president signed the decree calling for voters to vote.
In his speech, the interim president praised the army leadership and its great role in maintaining the country’s stability.
Bensalah called for a high turnout to choose a new president, pointing out that he signed the presidential decree summoning the electorate.
The Constitutional Council had canceled a presidential election scheduled for July 4 due to lack of candidates.
Former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika canceled the April 18 elections, after protesters marched against his candidacy for a fifth term, forcing him to resign.
President of the Independent National Authority for the Organization of Elections Mohammed Sharafi called on Algerians to participate in the elections, which are rejected by the protesters.
Sharafi, a former Minister of Justice, was announced Sunday as president of the Authority. Its 50 members were also named.
After his appointment, Sharafi said the Authority’s task is to receive candidate nominations, monitor the electoral process, and announce its results.
The Algerian authorities aim to show their true intentions to organize fair elections, according to an earlier statement by the interim president.
During a press conference after taking office, Sharafi defended himself after being described as “one of the remnants of Bouteflika's regime”. He served as the former president’s adviser in 2009, and was appointed in 2012 as Minister of Justice.