Algeria Parliament Approves Draft Constitutional Reforms

Lawmakers in Algeria have unanimously adopted draft constitutional reforms aimed at boosting democratic rules in the country.

The reforms, an initiative of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, follows months of street protests by the country’s Hirak movement.

The amendments, which grant more powers to the parliament and the prime minister, will be put up for a referendum on November 1, the anniversary of the start of Algeria’s 1954-1962 war of independence from France.

It also sets out to reinforce the “principle of separation of powers, ethics in political life and transparency in the management of public funds”, so as to “spare the country any drift toward tyrannical despotism”, it added.

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By a show of hands on Thursday, the amended constitution was approved by 256 of the 462 members present in the People’s National Assembly, said speaker Slimane Chenine.

Parliament Speaker Slimane Chenine said on Thursday that the draft changes respond to the “requirements of the new republic” and the demands of the popular protest movement.

In February 2019, street protests erupted against then-president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika.

In April, Bouteflika resigned under pressure from protests and the powerful military. Since his resignation, the judiciary has handed down heavy prison sentences to former officials and influential businessmen once close to him, mostly on charges of corruption or nepotism.

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In December, Abdelmadjid Tebboune took office as Algeria’s president.

He has repeatedly pledged to introduce drastic political and economic reforms in the North African country.


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