ALGIERS- “He never said no when he was asked for a mission for the benefit of the State” reported one of Abdelkader Bensalah’s relatives, in April 2019. It was the day after Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned from his functions as President of the Republic.
Article 102 (6) of the Constitution stipulates that “the Speaker of the Council of the Nation assumes the office of Head of State for a period of up to 90 days, during which presidential elections are held” . Subsequently, Mr. Bensalah became Head of State. Weakened at the time by cancer, it was difficult for Abdelkader Bensalah to shoulder such heavy burdens in a complex political environment.
Yet the man did not shy away from his obligations. He administered the day-to-day affairs of the country for almost nine months, until the election of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on December 12, 2019.
He then refused to take over the presidency of Council of Nation and withdrew from public life for good.
Born in the north-western province of Tlemcen on November 24, 1941, Bensalah has held several prominent posts. In 1959, he joined the national liberation army at the age of 18 during the glorious war of independence against France.
He worked as a journalist and held the position of the publishing director of the Arabic-speaking Al-Shaab daily newspaper before becoming a lawmaker and a diplomat at the Algerian embassy in Egypt and Lebanon from 1974 to 1977.
The late was, later, elected deputy from 1977 to 1989. He chaired the lower house’s foreign affairs committee for 10 years and became a foreign ministry spokesman.
He was appointed Algerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia until 1993. Recalled to the country, the HSC (High State Committee) entrusted him with the mission of leading the National Dialogue Conference. He was responsible for chairing the National Transition Council (CNT) from 1994 to 1997.
At the end of the first pluralist legislative elections of June 5, 1997, he was elected Speaker of the People’s National Assembly, on behalf of the National Democratic Rally (RND) .
In 2002, he was asked by President Bouteflika to take the reins of the Senate after the death of Mohamed Cherif Messadia.
He preserved the status of second figure in the state hierarchy for 17 years, thanks to the plebiscite of his peers.
Discreet, balanced, he is reputed to be the “quiet force” in high decision-making circles, to which he vowed unfailing loyalty.
Abdelkader Bensalah made his final public appearance in the last legislative elections while fulfilling his duty.
His death came less than a week after the death of the country’s former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Rest in Peace……. To Allah we belong and to him we shall return………..
La Patrie News