Algeria’s Presidential Elections 2019: New president to be elected “freely”

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ALGIERS – Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Thursday rejected the attempts for acting like the guardian of the Algerian people, who will elect “freely” their president on April 18th.

 

The Premier once again urged “vigilance” to preserve what has been achieved over the last twenty years, thanks to the stability enjoyed by Algeria.

In his answers to the deputies’ questions and observations on the Government’s General Policy Statement, Ouyahia said that “nothing can prevent the Algerian people from freely electing a president of the Republic,” insisting that the Presidential Election will be “transparent.”

In addition to the legal arsenal and the High Independent Authority of Elections Monitoring (HIISE), the Premier has announced that 400 foreign observers (the African Union, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, UN and EU) will oversee the Election.

Stressing that the right to demonstrate is guaranteed by the Constitution and everyone shall have the right freely to express their opinion, Ouyahia once again urged vigilance, noting that the calls for demonstrations come from unknown sources and that “foreign parties gave some reactions.”

In this regard, he recalled the serious excesses which led to the political strike triggered by the former Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) party call in 1991. It had impacted the country’s stability and security.

“The opposition of some (parties) to President Bouteflika’s candidacy dates back to when he wanted to seek a third term” and therefore has no relation with his current health condition, said Ouyahia.

The Head of State who had suffered a stroke in 2013 was a candidate in 2014 and has been re-elected for a new term.

The Prime Minister has called for measuring the progress made over the last 20 years and preserving the achievements that have been made, citing for example the recovery of the economy that was devastated, the eradication of unsecure housing and the construction millions of homes.

The preservation of those achievements, the need to pursue growth efforts and address the remaining shortcomings led President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to pledge, if he is re-elected, to convene a National Conference of Consensus which objective is “not to serve the regime (le pouvoir) but Algeria”.

The Conference will discuss all issues “without taboos”, except the national constants, and will allow for a “peaceful and consensual change” in the interest of Algeria, he argued.

The Conference will result in the “establishment of a national coalition government and a drastic amendment of the Constitution and a better vision to serve Algeria.”

Referring to the government’s economic policy, Ouyahia said that thanks to the internal borrowing, the freeze was lifted on 2,000 development projects in the sectors of education, health and water resources, amounting to DZD2, 500 billion.

The prime minister said that the Government has a “political identity” and ensures the implementation of President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika programme.

 

 

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