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Algeria’s Opposition Parties Reject Holding Early Legislative Elections

Algeria’s Opposition Parties Reject Holding Early Legislative Elections

Thursday, 4 March, 2021 - 08:30
Algerian security services again accused of torturing a movement activist (AFP)

Algerian opposition parties have rejected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s decision to simultaneously hold parliamentary and municipal elections, planned for June.

According to observers, Tebboune’s decision to dissolve the parliament and municipal councils to hold early elections is neither stipulated by the constitution nor the electoral law.

Earlier, the President announced his plan to dissolve the National Popular Assembly and call for elections in late February.

In an interview with two newspapers broadcast on public television, Tebboune affirmed that upon the request of several parties, the legislative and local elections will take place on the same day.

He also urged opposition parties to take part in the elections and oversee the expected electoral process.

The upcoming elections have nothing to do with the past, he affirmed, noting that the electoral law encourages qualified figures and elites to run and be part of the decision-making bodies.

“The next parliament may include a majority of the opposition,” he told the newspapers.

Six parties have already announced their participation in the expected early parliamentary elections. Namely, the Movement for the Society of Peace, the Islamic National Building Movement (Harakat al-Bina al-Watani), the liberal New Generation(Jil Jadid) party, the national Future Front (Jabhat El Moustakbel), the National Liberation Front and the Democratic National Rally party (RND).

Other parties, however, most notably the Labor Party and the Rally for Culture and Democracy, have expressed reservations about this step.

Meanwhile, an Algerian activist, who is the second this month, claimed that he was tortured during his detention at the Internal Security headquarters.

Lawyer Abdullah Haboul, who heads the advocate team of activist Sami Dernouni, said on Tuesday that his client was ill treated during investigation.

Lawyer Ali Farah, for his part, who is a member of Dernouni’s advocate team, said the activist told the judge that he was electrically shocked and undressed by the security forces.

He affirmed that he was beaten and deprived of his right to request medical examination during his jail time, contrary to what is stipulated in the Criminal Procedures Law.

No comments were made by the Defense Ministry, to which the Internal Security Agency is affiliated, nor the Justice Ministry, which has the right to monitor the general situation in civilian and military prisons.

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