ALGIERS- The Head of State, Mr. Abdelkader Bensalah addressed, on Sunday, the Nation. Here is the full text:
“In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious”
Prayer and peace over His virtuous messenger, His holy family and his companions until the Day of Judgment,
Dear fellow citizens,
Since the imperatives of national duty led me to assume the office of Head of State, I have constantly stressed the imperative to work “together” to find solutions that would allow us to transcend the pitfalls of the crucial step that our country is going through and to build the consensus necessary for the holding of a presidential election, bringing together the conditions of impartiality and transparency.
This election was for me, from the beginning, a national strategic objective, not only because it is the mission assigned to me by the Constitution and confirmed by the opinion of the Constitutional Council of June 29, 2019, but mainly because that it is the only viable democratic solution. The solution to give you, ladies and gentlemen, the floor to choose, freely and supremely, the personality that seems to you the best able to lead the change you want and to set up a new system of governance that meets your needs and aspirations.
That is how I committed myself to meeting all the conditions necessary for the organization of a presidential election with all the guarantees of transparency, regularity and probity.
An objective for the realization of which, I had invited the political class, the national personalities and the components of the civil society to join an inclusive dialogue in order to formulate consensual solutions on all the aspects relating to the next presidential election .
Thank God, the message of wisdom and national duty that I have launched has been welcomed by large sections of society and the process of dialogue initiated through the dedicated efforts of honest and independent personalities, who have freely taken the initiative to organize and ensure the conduct of political dialogue in the national political scene.
Indeed, these National Personalities conducted a very wide consultation process that allowed the leaders of several political parties and a large number of personalities and representatives of the civil society and the popular movement to freely discuss and debate the conditions, the political, legal and institutional dimensions to bring credibility to the next presidential election.
Dear fellow citizens,
The Forum in question recently communicated to me the conclusions of its consultations and presented its consensual proposals and recommendations, including those concerning the electoral system and the creation of an independent National Electoral Authority, whose mission would be to organize and control the electoral process in all its phases.
On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to the members of the Forum for the courage, dedication and skill they have shown in carrying out this heavy but noble mission.
I would also like to express my satisfaction with the climate of freedom and transparency that has characterized the process of dialogue, while pointing out that the State has respected its strictest commitment to neutrality and has not interfered in the conduct of this process.
This process resulted in a very broad convergence on the conduct of the presidential election and on the legal and institutional guarantees to be gathered on the ground to ensure its credibility.
Proposals have been made, in this sense, by the Forum for the adaptation of our electoral system so that the next presidential election can meet the conditions and standards required.
The creation of a National Authority, to which the missions of organization of the elections will be assigned, since the convocation of the electorate until the proclamation of the results, constitutes a concrete answer to the aspirations of our people, which claimed, peacefully, a profound change in the governance system.
Thus, I called for the establishment of this Authority, the continuation of the necessary efforts and consultations so that it can become a concrete reality.
In the same way that I instructed the Government to put at the disposal of this new independent Authority, all the material and logistic means and to bring all forms of help and support, allowing the organization of the next election under the best conditions.
Dear fellow citizens,
As you can see, the Organic Law on the National Independent Electoral Authority and the Organic Law, amending and supplementing Law 16-10 of 25 August 2016, on the electoral system, have been adopted not only by the Council of Ministers, and also by Parliament in accordance with the legislative process of adoption.
Following that, I proceeded yesterday, Saturday, September 14, 2019, to the signing of these two organic laws in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and after the Constitutional Council notified me its opinion on the subject.
These two texts introduced capital and unpublished changes, which touched on the very essence of the doctrine followed in our country in the matter of elections.
These changes bring, as everyone will have noticed, a clear and unequivocal answer to the skeptics and, at the same time, translate the legitimate expectations of our people by allowing them to choose, in all sovereignty, freedom and transparency, the personality to whom thry wishe to entrust the conduct of change and the satisfaction of the rest of the popular demands.
They also confirm the determination of the State to move forward in the methodical concretization of change, which you sincerely hope, ladies and gentlemen, by the consolidation of State supervision, the fight against corruption and impunity, the recovery of institutional normality through elections surrounded by all guarantees of probity.
These achievements and progress could not have been achieved without a total and close coordination between the different State institutions. And in this regard, I wish to reiterate my feelings of gratitude and appreciation to the elements of our National People’s Army (APN), and in particular to its High Command, for its sustained and dedicated efforts to preserve the constitutional path and to its commitment to supporting our people on the path of change, by favoring the path of dialogue and by emphasizing the presidential election as a strategic objective.
Dear fellow citizens,
I have repeatedly referred to you the constitutional, political, economic and strategic reasons that require us to organize a presidential election as soon as possible, and I remain convinced that this is the only democratic and visible solution, to enable our country to transcend this situation.
This step, to which, thank God, the majority of our people nowadays is a source of satisfaction for us. Indeed, this election is as necessary as it is urgent for the country to return, as soon as possible, to its political and institutional normality and so that it can concentrate on the major economic and social challenges, and facing the external threats hovering over it.
Dear fellow citizens,
Today, it is time to make the supreme interest of the country prevail over all other considerations, for it is our common denominator and the future of our country, our children.
Also, I have decided, within the framework of the constitutional prerogatives conferred upon me, to set the date of the presidential election on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Accordingly, in accordance with the relevant constitutional and legislative provisions, I have today signed the presidential decree by which I summon the electorate.
Therefore, I urge you, ladies and gentlemen, to mobilize to make this meeting the starting point of the process of renewal of our Nation, and to work, massively and strongly, for the success of this election, which will allow our people to elect a new President who will have all the legitimacy to preside over the destinies of our country and to realize the aspirations of our people.
By its importance, this election will be an unprecedented opportunity to build confidence in the country, and will open the way for our people to a promising horizon in the consolidation of democratic practice.
I call on citizens, on December 12, to contribute collectively to the writing of the history of their country and the choice of their new president to chart the bright future of their country dreamed of by their ancestors, fathers and our children.
Glory to our martyrs
Long live algeria”.