Thursday, 23 June 2011
Algeria completes discussions on constitutional reforms
Two of Algeria's main opposition parties, the Front for Socialist Forces and the Rally for Culture and Democracy, shunned the process, calling it a sham and saying that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will not adhere to his promises or enforce the reforms. Due to the domestic uprising in Algeria, and various other Arab nations across the globe, on 16th April, Bouteflika promised a new constitution and electoral laws.
Speaking about the trying two months, spokesman for the constitutional commission, Mohammed Ali Boughazi, said: "Our role was to listen to those who came without making comment or judging them…We respect the opinions of one and all, and we render them up to the president of the republic."
It is yet to be announced when Bouteflika will present the new constitution, but some sense of what the new document will contain is expected before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in August.
A politician who led the country from 1992 to 1995 Ali Kafi dismissed the new reform process, saying it was "trying to give an obsolete system one last breath".
Little of the recommendations have been made public, but certain broad outlines are well known, including limiting the president to two five-year terms, dividing power between a president and a prime minister, ensuring the independence of the judiciary, wresting TV and radio away from State control and accelerating economic growth.
Sources: AP, Forbes, eTaiwan News
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.