Algeria's army chief says elections are best way out of crisis

Reuters , Monday 20 May 2019

Algeria's armed forces chief said on Monday that elections were the best way to overcome the country's political crisis and avoid a constitutional vacuum.

After two decades in power, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika quit last month under pressure from protesters and the army, but demonstrations are still pushing for political reforms and the removal of all officials belonging to the old guard.

Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah, speaking on state television on Monday also called for more speed in forming a committee to supervise the election, without mentioning a date for the vote.

A presidential election has been scheduled for July 4 but a source said on Friday it might be postponed.

Algeria has been shaken by protests, mostly by young Alegerians, demanding to end the dominance of the elite that has been in charge since independence from France in 1962.

Analysts say the army is concerned the crisis will continue at a time when instability is worsening in neighbouring Libya, where rival forces are fighting over the capital Tripoli.

On Friday, protesters gathered again in Algiers to call for the resignations of the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, appointed by Bouteflika days before he stepped down.

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