Constitutional amendment: President Tebboune fulfils one fundamental commitment

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ALGIERS- President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune, who on Tuesday signed the decree convening the electorate for the referendum on the Constitution amendment due on November 1st , fulfils thus one of his fundamental political commitments, likely to lay the foundations of a “modern State in the service of citizens” and “restore confidence” between the people and its institutions.

The presidential decree also fixes the date of the voters list’s exceptional revision for September 20. It will last for a period of eight days.

The draft amended Constitution, elaborated by a group of experts in Constitutional Law, on the basis of 5,018 proposals collected from various sections of the society, national figures and political forces, has received the green light of the Council of ministers meeting, held on September 6th.

The two Houses of the Parliament also approved the draft amendment, successively on September 10th and 12th.

During this Council of Ministers meeting, the Head of State affirmed that the draft constitutional revision “falls in line with the requirements for building a modern State and responds to the demands of the authentic and blessed popular movement Hirak,”

The Constitution, in its new version, is “the most widely consensual”, despite the obstacles imposed by the health crisis of Covid-19, President Tebboune assured.

At the National People’s Assembly (lower house of Parliament), Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said that the revision of the Constitution will allow “materialize the commitments decided for the building of the new Republic, as part of a comprehensive reform of the State and its institutions.”

On 22 February 2019, tens of thousands of citizens staged demonstrations in most of the Algerian major cities to oppose a fifth term of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power for more than twenty years, and to demand profound change in governance.

Bouteflika submitted his resignation on April 2.

Elected on 12 December 2019, President Tebboune, had said during his swearing-in ceremony, that the main contours of the Constitution amendment, he committed to during his campaign will relate on limitation of the presidential term to one, renewable once, the limitation of the President of the Republic prerogatives to prevent autocratic excesses and the separation and balance of powers.

The draft revision of the Constitution encompasses six chapters, namely the “fundamental rights and public freedoms”, “strengthening the separation and balance of powers,” “independence of the judiciary,” “the creation of (the Constitutional Court)”, “transparency, prevention and anti-corruption” and “the National Independent Election Authority.”

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