Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Algeria: Trouble with the Senate

The Council of the Nation, or Senate as it is usually known, reconvened this week and re-elected the 71-year-old out-going speaker, Abdelkader Bensalah, for a third term of office. Bensalah, a senior RND official, was the sole candidate and was re-elected by 132 in favour with two abstentions. According to the Constitution the speaker of the Council of the Nation is the second top post after the president. In case the post of president is vacant then the speaker would be called to act as interim president until elections are held, Bensalah expressed his faith that the council would “play a more dynamic role in the future as part of the launched reforms.” That is something that has rarely ever been done in the past and is unlikely to do in the future.

In fact, the Senate has come under considerable public criticism in much of the Algerian press when it was revealed that the one third of the seats appointed directly by the President had largely been allocated to those ministers and other 'dead wood' that had been removed from government following last year's elections. The revelation merely confirmed that the Senate was even more decrepit, antiquated, and politically irrelevant than the lower house.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security. 

© 2013 Menas Associates

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