ALGIERS- The draft amendment to the Constitution submitted to referendum marks Algeria’s reconciliation with itself and its history, putting the country back on track after the abuses and overruns of recent years, said Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad.
In an intervention on Algerian Television and National Radio, as part of the referendum campaign on the draft constitutional amendment, the Prime Minister specified that the draft amendment of the Constitution marks “the reconciliation of Algeria with herself, its history and the aspirations of her children “, putting the country back on track after the drifts of the last years, which almost destroyed the cohesion of the State and its institutions ” .
“People having their say on the proposed amendment to the Basic Law is a “response to the demands expressed by the genuine popular Hirak in favor of the application of Articles 7 and 8 of the Constitution which provides that + the people are the source of all power + and that + national sovereignty belongs exclusively to the people, + Mr. Djerad underlined.
The referendum is “one of the democratic instruments by which citizens freely express their will”. It is, along with the right to vote, a means of expressing popular sovereignty, the Prime Minister said.
Mr Djerad explained that the constitutional amendment submitted to a referendum on November 1 “is not an end in itself, but the means to achieve the ambitious and legitimate objectives of the Algerian people”.
According to him, the achievement of these objectives passes through a number of stages, including “the strengthening of the democratic system based on political pluralism, alternation of power and the effective separation and balance of powers”.
On this point, Mr. Djerad pointed out that its realization requires “to confer more cohesion to the action of the executive power and rehabilitate the parliament, particularly in its function of control of the governmental action, strengthen the power of the elected officials in particular the parliamentary opposition “.
It is also, continued the Prime Minister, “to review the constitutional provisions which limit the access to certain high state responsibilities and political functions to allow the national community established abroad to fully restore their citizenship to enjoy the same rights, submit to the same obligations on an equal footing with citizens residing in the country “.
The separation of powers will also be concretized by “conferring a constitutional basis on the National Independent Election Authority (ANIE), which comes exclusively from civil society to enable it to fulfill its role in complete independence in the preparation, organization and management of the elections in addition to the referendum operations “, and” to improve the guarantees of the independence of the judiciary “in addition to” the rehabilitation of the institutions of control and consultation “, added Mr. Djerad.
The second phase of the realization of popular demands consists of “the enlargement and enrichment of the areas of freedom of the citizen, through the consecration of new individual and collective freedoms and the support of constitutional rights in giving a content and a real meaning to the consecrated freedoms, in particular the freedom to demonstrate peacefully, the creation of associations and the freedom of the press “.
The realization of these demands also involves the fight against the phenomenon of corruption, through the reinforcement of the mechanisms of fight and prevention and “the setting up of mechanisms able to avoid the conflict of interests between the exercise of public responsibilities and management of affairs to remove the financial grip of the management of public affairs and avoid the abuse of power, “he added.
In this context, he emphasized “the rehabilitation and strengthening of control institutions, so as to make their activities more efficient and help them protect public property and funds”.
Mr. Djerad recalled that the forthcoming revision of the Constitution was among the priorities of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the start of his mandate, being “the cornerstone in the building of the new Republic which aspires to concretize the demands of the people expressed during the authentic Hirak “.
These demands “can only be materialized by a thorough constitutional revision”, capable of leading to the renewal of modes of governance at all levels of responsibility, in particular at the level of the high institutions of the Republics. The President of the Republic is clearly committed to putting in place a new Constitution which can preserve the country from authoritarianism in all its forms, guarantee the separation and balance of powers, strengthen the moralization of public life and preserve the rights and freedoms of citizens , said the Prime Minister.
Explaining the most important foundations having served in the development of the amendment proposals, Mr. Djerad indicated that the constitutional amendment project highlighted the different stages of the struggle that Algeria experienced to achieve the New Republic, as well as the essential values and principles on which the State is based.
This project also did not fail to mention the most important document in the contemporary history of the Republic, “namely the Declaration of November 1 which represented the objectives of the Glorious Revolution, as well as” one of the most important events that Algeria has known, which is the blessed popular Hirak and all its fallout, ie the fall of a corrupt system “, he added.
For Mr. Djerad, the draft amendment to the Constitution “tends to protect the Algerian Nation from fitna, violence, all extremism, hate speech and discrimination in all its forms, through the consecration of spiritual and civilizational values which advocate dialogue, reconciliation and fraternity, with respect for the Constitution and the laws of the Republic “.
The Prime Minister also addressed other dimensions contained in the next Constitution which “preserves social character of the State which works to reduce social inequalities and eliminate regional disparities, while working to build an productive and competitive economy within the framework of sustainable development “.
In this sense, continued Mr. Djerad, “this constitutional revision enshrines the three geostrategic dimensions: Algeria, land of Islam, an integral part of the Grand Maghreb, Arab and Amazigh, Mediterranean and African country, is honored by the influence of its Revolution of November 1st and the respect that the country has been able to acquire and retain because of its commitment to all just causes in the world “.
The constitutional revision project aims to rehabilitate a “free and active” civil society and promote participatory democracy, and this, he pointed out, by encouraging the participation of citizens, without any exclusion, in the ‘development and implementation of public policies. It is also a project which truly reflects the principle of popular control of the management of public affairs.
“This Constitution calls out to you, listens to you, instills hope in you and gives you the responsibility to contribute to the building of the fatherland”, PM addressed young people.
Internationally, Mr. Djerad expressed conviction that the constitutional amendment “will allow our country to recover its place in the concert of nations in which it has been absent for years, and thus allow Algeria to make its positions heard again vis-à-vis international issues, in particular those related to our region and geostrategic depth “.
The Prime Minister also seized the opportunity to recall the place occupied by the National People’s Army (ANP), “the base of the Algerian nation and an integral part of the Algerian people, sue to their contribution to the country’s protection and the defense of its borders “.
To close his speech, Mr. Djerad said that the next Constitution will “inevitably have a great impact on improving the situation of our country and our people”, and “will initiate a qualitative leap” in terms of governance at all levels. If it “strengthens national unity and preserves it from any maneuver”, the new Constitution “will also concretize solidarity between the children of the people and motivate any support to the social fringes requiring help and assistance in order to preserve their dignity”, he concluded.