Algeria: Tebboune Rules Out Running for Presidency For a Second Term
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has ruled out remaining in power, saying that new conditions must be met to consider running for a second term.
Tebboune was elected President on December 12, 2019, for a five-year term, succeeding Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned in 2019 under the pressure of popular movements and the army leadership.
In an interview with the French daily, L'Opinion, published on Monday, Tebboune said he is against any classic plan, pointing out that he has earlier pledged not to create a political party.
However, he said he needs a popular base to be able to implement his presidential agenda.
“In principle, I was elected for one term, and by the end of this mandate, I hope to obtain a peaceful situation in which social and economic problems are partially resolved.”
Tebboune announced further measures to appease and release of Hirak detainees.
He pointed to the importance of the opposition and civil society but stressed that the opposition shall not be expressed through insults and calls for an uprising.
“I seek attaining a consensual and permanent constitution that defines the president’s powers and doesn’t allow the manipulation of texts to immortalize power or serve personal agendas,” he added.
Tebboune said that the new constitution will put an end to past perversions by limiting the president’s role and bolstering the parliament’s censorial role over the executive branch, as well as public freedoms.
In other news, retired Major General Ali Ghediri, who is also a former official in the Defense Ministry, began on Monday a hunger strike in his prison against classifying a charge against him as a “crime.”
Meanwhile, his defense team demanded that he be treated like like other political activists who were handed similar charges.
Ghediri’s lawyer Khaled Bourayou told Asharq Al-Awsat that his client is forced to make this move so that his cries are heard by higher authorities, stressing that he is innocent of the charge of weakening the army’s morale.
Bourayou pointed out that the former Major General fulfills all the conditions to benefit from a temporary release, yet the accusation chamber in the Algiers Judicial Council (Court of Appeal) has rejected the request for the third time.
Ghediri, 65, has been in pretrial detention since June 2019 and was arrested for unknown reasons.
His advocates said that former Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who died in late 2019, was behind his arrest.
The prosecution accused him of “treason and spying for the benefit of foreign powers” and “attempting to weaken the army’s morale.”