Presidential statement confirms elections in Algeria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-19 05:56:00|Editor: Chengcheng
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ALGIERS, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- An announcement made by Algerian president on Friday to organize presidential elections on April 18 has put an end to the possibility of postponing elections.

"The presidential decree, which calls for presidential elections on April 18, is the first indication that there will be regular periodic elections," Mustapha Sayej, a professor of political science and international relations with the University of Algiers, told Xinhua.

The professor said that the Algerian political arena has been dominated by three main trends. The first one is represented in some opposition forces, which were demanding the postponement of the presidential elections.

Another trend suggested setting up a transition cabinet, as if Algeria was facing a political vacuum. The third trend was betting on chaos in streets through manipulating some social cases.

Meanwhile, some opposition parties suggested several political initiatives to solve this political stalemate.

The most noticeable initiative is the one put forward by the Islamist Movement for Society of Peace, the largest opposition party and the third power in the parliament.

The initiative suggests postponing the presidential elections for one year while launching major political reforms that would result in setting up a national unity government, dissolving the parliament and then holding general elections supervised by an independent committee.

For now, the incumbent president is set to take a decision on whether to run for a fifth term or not.

In this regard, political analyst Salim Hammadi told Xinhua that the Friday's statement means that the regime has finally chosen its own consensus candidate for the upcoming elections, whether it is the current president or another person.

Those who wish to run for the presidential elections have 45 days to submit their candidacy to the Constitutional Council, provided that they meet legal requirements stipulated in the Constitution, including being Algerian Muslim for 40 years or more, and collecting 60,000 signatures across a minimum of 25 provinces.

Some 23 million Algerians out of more than 42 million are eligible to vote, according to official figures.